We almost had complete chaos this weekend. A cancellation, an epic shootout and a near upset headlined the weekend, but the AAC’s shown that more chaos is in store this year. A big time matchup looms this week against the top two teams, meaning more fluctuation is in store.
1. Cincinnati (3-0)
No game for the Bearcats this weekend, which is unfortunate because they were set to face a Tulsa team coming off of an upset win over UCF. No time to relax for this team, though, as they’ll face the undefeated SMU Mustangs next week. Cincinnati’s defense will be tested, and they’ll need Desmond Ridder to step up if they can’t hold SMU’s offense in check.
2. SMU (5-0)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Mustangs became the first team in college football to win five games in 2020. Tulane gave them all they could handle, but a field goal in overtime kept the Mustangs undefeated season alive. Their toughest test to date is next on the schedule, and the wide receivers better be ready for an elite secondary.
3. Memphis (2-1)
The Tigers ended a 13 game losing streak to the Knights on Saturday in thrilling fashion. Brady White led a late drive to put the Tigers up 50-49 with 1:08 to go in the game. UCF drove down into field goal range, but the kick sailed wide left. After a disappointing loss to SMU, this could have been the jolt the Tigers needed. Even without star receiver Damonte Coxie, the Memphis offense amassed 703 yards, proving that the firepower remains for the long run.
4. Tulsa (1-1)
COVID doesn’t like a few teams in the AAC, but Tulsa’s at the top of the list. Which is disappointing considering their matchup against Cincinnati was going to tell us where this team stands in the conference.
5. Houston (1-1)
Losing to BYU isn’t something to hang your head about by any means, but it is when you saw how Houston loss. Mental mistakes once again hit the Cougars hard this weekend, and they hurt this team in a big way. Houston’s offense looked good against a solid team, and their big guys on both sides of the ball dominated at times. There’s a lot to like about this team, but discipline has to be addressed going forward.
6. Navy (3-2)
Don’t look now, but the Midshipmen are 3-0 in conference play. With Holton Ahlers out of ECU’s lineup, Navy was able to keep the Pirates largely in check. Nelson Smith had another big game with 157 yards rushing and two touchdowns to lead the Midshipmen offense, giving him 277 yards and four touchdowns in his last two games.
7. UCF (2-2)
There’s a lot to unpack here. UCF lost in agonizing fashion in their 50-49 loss to Memphis. It was their second consecutive loss, the first time that’s happened since 2016. Dillon Gabriel’s school record 601 yards passing weren’t enough as the Knights final field goal attempt sailed wide left. There’s a lot to fix with this team, but at least the passing game isn’t one of them.
8. Temple (1-1)
Temple struggled against USF, but got in the win column this weekend with a 39-37 win. Anthony Russo threw four touchdown passes to lead the Owls, but the defense struggled to stop the Bulls offense. A win’s a win, but the Owls have a long ways to go to contend in the conference.
9. Tulane (2-3)
The Green Wave were so close to upsetting SMU, but a missed kick and a costly interception ended the upset bid. This team can compete with the best in the conference, but they just can’t finish right now.
10. USF (1-3)
While they still lost, they showed they can put up a fight. USF forced three Temple turnovers, but came up short in the 39-37 loss. Jordan McCloud only threw for 186 yards, but had three touchdown passes.
11. ECU (1-3)
Is it too early to anoint the Pirates as the new UCOnn?