As we’ve mentioned before, there’s a lot of movement near the top. With both divisions featuring tough competition, teams are moving up and down every week. SMU’s making the biggest run towards the top, UCF bounced back from a tough loss, and Houston showed it can deal with some adversity. With plenty more changes coming, here’s this week’s version of the AAC Power Rankings.
1. UCF (4-1)
The Knights took care of business, led by Gabriel Davis and his 119 yards receiving with three touchdowns. Now, they turn their attention to a huge game on the road against Cincinnati. The Bearcats are hoping to avenge the loss last year, and appear more prepared to take on UCF.
2. SMU (5-0)
They probably should be first in our Power Rankings, so just think of it as 1A and 1B. The Mustangs continue to thrive behind Shane Buechele and Xavier Jones, who both had good games in their 48-21 win over USF. SMU had 34 points at halftime to the Bulls’ zero, and most of USF’s points were scored late in the game.
3. Memphis (4-0)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Tigers managed to pull away from Navy. Brady White looked inconsistent at times, but also made some big throws in their 35-23 win over the Midshipmen. Kenneth Gainwell got the offense started with a 75 yard touchdown run on the first drive, and give the Tigers room to let Patrick Taylor Jr. fully recover.
4. Tulane (3-1)
A unique test awaits Tulane when they hit the road to face Army. Have they regrouped after a thrilling win two weeks ago against Houston? The answer to that question goes a long way in determining this outcome.
5. Cincinnati (3-1)
It was a tight game early, but Cincinnati’s offense decided it had enough. The Bearcats scored 45 unanswered points through three quarters before Marshall got on the board, and won 52-14. They’ll need that kind of production this week when UCF comes to town, and the defense better be ready too.
6. Temple (3-1)
Well, Temple is 2-0 against Power 5 competition, so we’ll stick to that as the positive for this team. Coming off of a disappointing loss, Temple handed their former coach a 24-2 L. Geoff Collins and Georgia Tech couldn’t get anything going against his former team. Temple now turns their attention towards conference play, and get the ECU Pirates first.
7. Houston (2-3)
Many were calling this season over for the Cougars. No D’Eriq King meant this season was done, and they would be tanking. North Texas provided a tough challenge for this team, but the Coogs handled it with relative ease. Clayton Tune played extremely well, and Houston came out with a 46-25 win in Denton.
8. Navy (2-1)
Navy looked much better than we thought they would coming into the season, but they just couldn’t handle the Memphis Tigers offense. Ken Niumatalolo has the offense catered to what Malcolm Perry can do, and will be much better this season.
9. Tulsa (2-2)
Don’t sleep on Tulsa, even if they won’t be one of the best teams. With two weeks to prepare for SMU, the Golden Hurricane are thinking upset. Now that conference play begins, Tulsa’s ready to show where they belong in the conference.
10. ECU (3-2)
Old Dominion was coming off a close loss to a ranked Virginia team, and were the favorites to win this game. ECU paid little attention to that, and came out with a 24-21 victory. The Pirates get a chance to redeem themselves in conference play after a terrible loss to Navy when they face Temple Thursday night.
11. UConn (1-3)
Wait, what? UConn’s not last? You are correct, my friend. Yes they were blown out by UCF, but it wasn’t as bad as many expected, and the Huskies actually covered the spread. They also had a little bit of fun with their misery too.
21 unanswered for the Huskies to close out the night! pic.twitter.com/Bchb7tAD0S— UConn Football (@UConnFootball) September 29, 2019
12. USF (1-3)
Fans are calling for Charlie Strong’s job. The offense looked bad. The defense looked worse. Before USF could even blink, SMU headed into halftime with a 34-0 lead. The Bulls are a bad football team (to put it nicely) looking for answers anywhere they can find them, but aren’t having much luck.