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The Week That Was: Week Seven

Conference races are in full swing and the fight for the New Years Six spot picks up.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Houston Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Games of the week

Memphis at Temple: In the first game of a big double header for the AAC, the ranked Memphis Tigers went on the road to take on the 4-1 Temple Owls. The game got off to a hot start for Temple as they went up 16-0 by the second quarter but Memphis did just enough to hang around. At one point the Tigers were down 23-7 but came storming back to make it a two point game late in the fourth quarter but it wouldn’t be enough. The Owls get the big win in the conference, 30-28.

Wyoming at San Diego State: San Diego State is quietly finding their stride late in the season as they hosted the Wyoming Cowboys. This game would go a long way in the Mountain West Standings and as expected was a defensive slugfest. The two went back and forth until a late fourth quarter touchdown would give the Aztecs the win, 26-22. They improve to 5-1 on the season.

Appalachian State at Louisiana: These two clashed all the way back on Wednesday night and if you like defense then I have a game for you. These two slugged it out with neither offense able to get a whole lot going but it was the Mountaineers that pulled away late in the fourth quarter to secure the win. App State wins the Sun Belt conference title rematch, 17-7.

Statement Wins

Cincinnati over Houston: It was the perfect recipe for an upset but the Bearcats survived. Even with the chaos going on with the Houston program all week it seemed this would be a good chance for Dana Holgorsen to get his first big win but Cincinnati went on the road and took care of business.

NCAA Football: Cincinnati at Houston Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

USF over BYU: Charlie Strong’s Bulls got off to rocky start in 2019 but after a get right game against UConn things may have straightened out for now. BYU has wins over Tennesee and USC but the Bulls had a nice comeback win at home over the injury riddled Cougars.

FAU over Middle Tennessee: The 2019 Owls have been up and down but Saturday they got a much needed conference win over the Blue Raiders. It was an early must win against the defending division champions and puts the Owls in good standing headed into the mid-season conference race.

Southern Miss over North Texas: After an average 2018 season the Golden Eagles look much improved this year and they showed in on Saturday by knocking off division favorite North Texas. This one wasn’t even particularly close either. The offense continued to be explosive and the defense continues to improve weekly.

Georgia State over Coastal Carolina: The Panthers are in a good position to make a bowl this year and this was the win they needed to pick up to secure that. It’s been an up and down season but this win keeps Georgia State in the conference championship race.

Top Dogs

Desmond Ridder- Cincinnati, QB: The Bearcats picked up a huge win on the road over Houston this week. The offense continues to improve and it’s in large part because of Ridder. He threw for 263 yards and three touchdowns.

NCAA Football: Central Florida at Cincinnati Bob Meyer-USA TODAY Sports

Quez Watkins- Southern Miss, WR: The Golden Eagles are having a bounce back season with their only losses to two SEC teams. Watkins has been explosive playmaker all season long and Saturday was no different. He had eight catches for 198 yards and a touchdown.

NCAA Football: Southern Mississippi at North Texas Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Jordan Cronkrite- USF, RB: The former Gator is finally having the production that USF fans had hoped for. The Bulls picked up a big win over BYU and it’s because Cronkite put the team on his back. He had 158 yards and two touchdowns.

NCAA Football: Brigham Young at South Florida Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

App State’s defense: Most of us probably expected a score fest in repeat of last year’s Sun Belt title game. Both the Mountaineers and Rajun Cajuns’s defense played well but App State held one of the most explode offenses in the league to just seven points and that lands them on this list.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at North Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Ellington- Georgia State, QB: The stat line through the air may not have been impressive but Ellington helped his team to a win over the Chanticleers on Saturday with his legs. He had 128 yards rushing and a passing touchdown as well.

NCAA Football: Georgia State at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

In the Dog House

Bobby Wilder- Old Dominion, HC: This is kind of a weird one because there has been times this year where it looked like the Monarchs were headed in the right direction. But after a flat effort against Marshall it appears that those calling for a change from Wilder may have a stronger case than ever.

NCAA Football: Old Dominion at North Texas Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports

Doug Martin- New Mexico State, HC: We all know New Mexico State is a tough job to begin with. It doesn’t help that in the last five years the program has been forced to become an independent. But the product on the field outside of their one bowl eligible season hasn’t shown any signs of upward trajectory. Not sure if Martin’s leash is long but he’s in the dog house this week (see how the whole leash/dog things works.)

NCAA Football: New Mexico State at Alabama John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

Final thoughts

I was wrong about Helton and Western Kentucky: Coming into this season expectations were low for the Hilltoppers but as of now they sit atop of their division in Conference USA. After a surprising win over a good Army team it seems like Helton and his staff had put some life back into the program and they’re getting it done on defense which is a break from their traditional way of winning. Helton began the season in my dog house more than once but he’s nowhere near that now. I was wrong about WKU and so were the majority of other people.

NCAA Football: Louisville at Western Kentucky Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Should the AAC be worried about it’s New Year’s Six spot: The American is certainly the deepest it’s been in many years. With more than one ranked team going into week seven. You could even make the case that it’s too deep and that it may end up cannibalizing themselves out of a New Year’s Six bowl with Boise State out in the Mountain West looking a little stronger each week. There’s a lot of football left to be played but right now the committee has to be looking out west for it’s spot.

NCAA Football: Hawaii at Boise State Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

The Mountaineers show consistency again: The Sun Belt is in a good place on the whole as some of its teams continue to improve (Georgia State and Louisiana come to mind) but one team remains the constant and that’s Appalachian State. Another big win last Wednesday night over Louisiana finally showed the AP people enough to rank the Mountaineers on Sunday. New coach and staff hasn’t seemed to cause a dip in quality of the program.

NCAA Football: Appalachian State at North Carolina James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports