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AAC Power Rankings after Week 2

Power 5 struggles highlight the AAC’s second week of 2019.

NCAA Football: South Florida at Georgia Tech Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

A conference that wants “Power” status didn’t show well in Week 2. Tulane and Cincinnati were handled by Auburn and Ohio State, respectively, and USF couldn’t move the ball against Georgia Tech (oh, and UConn lost to Illinois). The Power 6 movement took a hit this week when it comes to facing Power 5 teams, but also produced three wins over other Group of 5 conferences. It didn’t change the power rankings much, but there was movement.

1. UCF (2-0)

People thought FAU had a chance. That’s cute. UCF proved why they’re the team to beat in the AAC and also the Group of 5. Questions about the quarterback position will continue after this week, but 312 rushing yards erased any concerns about the passing game against the Owls.

Southern v Memphis
Kenneth Gainwell showed what Memphis can do without Patrick Taylor.
Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images

2. Memphis (2-0)

A 27-17 halftime lead woke up the Tigers in the second half of their 55-24 win over Southern. Kenneth Gainwell took over at running back with Patrick Taylor Jr. nursing an injury, and ran for 85 yards and two touchdowns for Memphis.

3. Tulane (1-1)

Tulane’s defense was up to the challenge Saturday against Auburn, but the offense couldn’t do the same. Two field goals aren’t enough to win many games unfortunately. It was a tough loss for the Green Wave, but it shouldn’t affect their season going forward.

4. Cincinnati (1-1)

The Bearcats move down a spot simply because they looked worse than Tulane did against their Power 5 opponent. Ohio State jumped to a 28-0 halftime lead and never looked back. Cincinnati’s rushing attack was nonexistent, and Desmond Ridder struggled to find time to throw.

5. SMU (2-0)

A revived Xavier Jones adds to an offense that’s going to give AAC defenses trouble already. SMU took it to North Texas with a 49-27 win, and gave AAC West teams something to think about in 2019. Sonny Dykes has his team at 2-0, andshould still be undefeated heading into the TCU game in two weeks.

6. Houston (1-1)

Houston headed into halftime up 34-0, but came out a different team in the second half with just three points. D’Eriq King didn’t look great passing for just 139 yards with a touchdown and an interception, but had two rushing touchdowns. The Cougars have another Power 5 matchup on Friday against Washington State, and there might be a big of concern heading into that one.

7. Temple (1-0)

A bye week for the Owls after dominating their first game. It’s a big one as they face the Maryland Terrapins, who are scoring points at a rapid rate.

8. Navy (1-0)

Navy’s bye week gives the Midshipmen two weeks to prepare for the ECU Pirates. Navy showed some firepower on offense last week, but beating ECU won’t be as easy.

9. ECU (1-1)

The Pirates took care of business against Garnder-Webb, and now must figure out how to stop Navy’s triple option. Holton Ahlers will be the key on offense for ECU. He’s shown that he’s improving his accuracy after last year, and that will be needed going forward.

10. Tulsa (1-1)

Eventually the Golden Hurricane pulled away, but not until the fourth quarter. They won’t get that much time against Oklahoma State this week. San Jose State gave Tulsa everything they could handle, and it’s not looking promising for this team in the near future.

11. USF (0-2)

USF’s defense stepped up this week after looking horrendous against Wisconsin in Week 1. The only problem is the offense couldn’t follow suit. USF held Georgia Tech to just 14 points, 181 yards rushing, and 76 yards passing. The Bulls offense only produced 10 points on 262 yards. Blake Barnett once again found himself running for his life, and the season’s already frustrating for Charlie Strong.

12. UConn (1-1)

UConn could be the 11th team in the power rankings. They did show life against Illinois, and the defense looked a lot better. However, they choked a 13-0 lead and only ran for 10 total yards on offense. This team won’t be as bad as last year’s team, but wins still come at a premium.