We’re one win away from an AAC East representative emerging, but also a loss away from things getting tense (two losses from chaos). The West still belongs to Memphis, but one loss puts SMU and Navy in the driver’s seat. We’re getting down to the wire, and the intensity only ramps up from here.
An early 17-7 deficit turned into a 28-20 lead at halftime, and the Tigers never looked back against Houston. While they are the leaders in the West, they can’t afford to slip up anywhere given they’re tied in the conference with SMU and Navy. Win and they’re in. Lose, and they need help (that loss to Temple’s really biting them).
The Mustangs, despite their loss to Memphis, can still win the conference. All they need is Memphis to lose one of their next two games and win out. Pretty simple, right? They’ll face Navy this weekend, and a win gives them separation from the Midshipmen, who are also tied for first. Even if SMU doesn’t win the conference, this is still a great season for this program.
Bearcats fans have taken a few years off their lives lately, winning two games by a combined six points against ECU and USF. Luckily for Cincinnati, all they have to do is beat Temple and they’re in the conference championship. They can’t afford to sleep walk through another game, because the Owls just proved they’re ready to compete.
Well, it certainly wasn’t a pretty loss. The Midshipmen allowed Ian Book to pass for five touchdowns, including four of them to Chase Claypool. Malcolm Perry rushed for 117 yards, but Navy faced a 38-3 deficit at halftime that was too much to overcome. Fortunately, it has zero effect on their standings in the conference.
There’s a small chance the Knights get into the conference championship, but I wouldn’t hold your breath. They need Temple to beat Cincinnati, and for the Bearcats to lose their final game as well. For the first time since 2016, we’ll see a new team represent the AAC East in the conference championship (unless chaos ensues).
Temple needed a big win, and they got one. Jadan Blue caught 12 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown to lead the Owls offense in their 29-21 win over Tulane. Just like the Knights, Temple can still make the conference championship (via tiebreaker), but the odds aren’t great.
Tulane went from a potential AAC West contender to a potential 6-6 team. The Green Wave managed just seven points through the first three quarters on Saturday, and the road ahead isn’t too promising in terms of wins.
How will the Golden Hurricane follow up their upset win over UCF? They can’t make a bowl game, but two wins to end the season gives them a good way to go out. A 5-7 finish isn’t great, but it’s better than the last two seasons.
Clayton Tune didn’t have much time to throw, and the defense couldn’t hang with Memphis’ offense. Dana Holgorsen’s staff can officially work towards the 2020 season, but they have plenty of issues to address before that season begins. Not even D’Eriq King can mask the troubles on the offensive line.
A 5-7 finish is a real possibility for the Pirates with UConn and Tulsa remaining on the schedule. With the amount of young talent on this roster (including quarterback Holton Ahlers), ECU could be a team to watch for in 2020.
If you want to put USF 10th for losing by three to Cincinnati, go ahead. At this point in the season, it really doesn’t matter. Rewarding losing is kind of weird though, so we’ll keep the Bulls here for now. This may sound weird, but USF can still make a bowl game. Granted, that means pulling off upsets of Memphis and UCF, but it’s possible.
One of the best comments we can make for the Huskies over the last few years is “you can’t lose if you don’t play”, but it feels like we’ve used that too much.