This week provided was a unique week for a few reasons, and we didn’t see much movement because of it. The top teams won their games in close matchups, which isn’t enough to punish the losers. It was easy to keep the losing teams where they were thanks to cancellations too, so there wasn’t much to adjust. Cincinnati and Tulsa won close games, keeping them at the top, and the bottom three teams were the only ones to move.
1. Cincinnati (8-0)
Here’s Cincinnati’s dilemma. There are many that are going to see a 5-3 UCF team on their schedule and think it wasn’t a good win, but the Knights are a dangerous team. The 36-33 win wasn’t as close as the score indicated because the Bearcats could have scored late in the game, but chose to run the clock out instead. Desmond Ridder stepped up big time, throwing for 338 yards in a game where Cincinnati’s defense had its worst performance of the season. And when I say worst, I mean they still held UCF 260 yards under their season average.
2. Tulsa (5-1)
First there was this from third string quarterback Davis Brin to JuanCarlos Santanna (great name) to tie the game.
TULSA FORCES OT WITH THIS HAIL MARY pic.twitter.com/4oR9n0jgP7— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 20, 2020
Then Zaven Collins ended it in overtime.
TULSA WINS IN 2OT!— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) November 20, 2020
The Golden Hurricane are now 4-0 when trailing by 14 points or more this season. They’re the first time to do so since 2005. pic.twitter.com/axeu2srX5u
Do we need to discuss anything else?
3. SMU (7-2)
The Mustangs matchup against Houston was postponed because of COVID, which is tough considering they needed a chance to bounce back. The Mustangs and Cougars rescheduled for December 5th, and the Mustangs can still achieve a 10-win season with a bowl game.
4. Memphis (5-2)
Calvin Austin continues his domination of his opponent, adding 10 catches for 173 yards against Stephen F. Austin. The Lumberjacks kept the game close at halftime, but the Tigers used 36 second half points to come away with a 56-14 win.
5. UCF (5-3)
A 5-3 record typically doesn’t inspire a ton of confidence, but this is a really good team. UCF’s three losses have come by a combined 12 points against Cincinnati, Tulsa, and Memphis. Dillon Gabriel and the passing attack are still a nightmare to stop, and the Knights just got Tre Nixon back too. The only big concern I have with this team is Josh Heupel’s performance in close games.
6. Houston (3-3)
Three tough tests remain for the Cougars. Tests that will give us a good indication of where this program stands in Dana Holgorsen’s second season. Houston gets a chance to play spoiler against Tulsa this weekend, with trips to Memphis and the rescheduled SMU game following it.
7. Tulane (5-4)
It was a tough way to go down on Friday, but Tulane played a great game right until the end. The defense shut down Tulsa’s offense, and the Green Wave offense did everything it could to get points on the board against the Golden Hurricane defense.
8. Navy (3-4)
Navy hasn’t played a game since October 31st, and they’re hoping that their game against Memphis will actually happen.
9. ECU (2-6)
ECU WON A FOOTBALL GAME!!!!! A sloppy 28-3 win over Temple doubled the Pirates total for the season, but it wasn’t exactly pretty. Holton Ahlers only completed 11 of his 22 passes for 182 yards, but it was enough to put away the Owls early in the game.
10. Temple (1-6)
It’s sad to see how far Temple’s fallen. The quarterback position continues to be an issue, so much so that the Owls had Branden Mack attempt two passes. Once a team able to contend with the best in the conference, Temple’s suddenly struggling in Rod Carey’s second season.
11. USF (1-7)
Want to know how to feel good about this season? Or at least maybe forget about everything else? Beat UCF. It won’t be easy, so I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high.