I’m debating whether or not this should be it for the Power Rankings. There are only a handful of games remaining, and I’m not sure how much these rankings will change. So stay tuned for next week, but also don’t be surprised if there’s nothing to report.
1. Cincinnati (8-0)
The Bearcats and Temple couldn’t play this weekend, which is probably better for Temple than anyone. Cincinnati might have wanted the game to be played given that their next game isn’t until December 12th. They’ll face Tulsa that week, and it could be a preview of the AAC Championship Game. It would also be the second year in a row that the Bearcats would play their championship game opponent the week before said game.
2. Tulsa (5-1)
No roller coaster ride or Zaven Collins big plays this weekend, but Golden Hurricane fans might be okay with that. After two thrilling wins in the previous two weeks, fans might need a little time to rest and prepare for more stress. With a championship game appearance on the line, the stress only increases from here. Hopefully Zach Smith will be fully recovered after this week too.
3. UCF (6-3)
UCF didn’t do anything that surprised us. Their offense dominated as usual and the Knights defense struggled to make necessary stops. Jacob Harris stepped up in Marlon Williams’ absence, and Dillon Gabriel has improved in nearly every statistical category. Next up for the Knights is a bowl game, or maybe a last second non-conference matchup against a Power 5 team. It’s been an interesting year for the Knights, and there’s plenty to discuss surrounding this team in the offseason.
4. Memphis (6-2)
Ryan Silverfield said he’s okay with winning ugly the rest of his coaching career, but I think he’d rather that not be the case. A 10-7 win was ugly from the start, and there are many concerns about this team after this year. Memphis hasn’t looked like the defending conference champions, and the last few games have featured sloppy play and necessary comebacks against inferior opponents. Is this a sign of what’s to come? Hopefully not, but it’s not looking good right now.
5. SMU (7-3)
Was it the Reggie Roberson injury that derailed everything? One guy doesn’t make the team, but his absence was a huge loss. It more likely has to do with the fact that SMU’s defense couldn’t help the offense enough overall. So when the offense stalled, the defense couldn’t pick them up. The Mustangs allowed ECU to score 52 points on them this weekend, leaving a sour taste in their mouths. With one game against Houston left, SMU better hope they can end things on a good note before the bowl game.
6. Houston (3-3)
I’m bummed we didn’t get to see Houston play Tulsa, but at least they have a chance to play SMU. That’s assuming everything COVID related is taken care of off the field. It will be a good gauge of where this team stands, and what they need to do to be conference championship contenders in 2021.
7. Tulane (5-5)
One more game for the Green Wave gives them a chance for six wins this season, which would be huge for this team. Michael Pratt and the offense appear to be hitting their stride, and a win over Memphis could give them some momentum for next year.
8. Navy (3-5)
The Midshipmen did nearly everything they could to beat Memphis. Navy held the Tigers to 10 points, but could only muster seven of their own against the Tigers defense. Nelson Smith had another great game on the ground, but it wasn’t enough for the upset. Ken Niumatalolo’s team still has the Army-Navy game left, but the offseason will be spent identifying the next quarterback.
9. ECU (3-6)
A good way to end an overall bad season for the Pirates. Holton Ahlers and the offense put on a show, and ECU ran away with a 52-38 win. Mike Houston’s offseason list includes (probably at the top of the list in all caps, bold letters and underlined 100 times) finding a defense that can help them win football games.
10. Temple (1-6)
Maybe it’s for the best that Temple didn’t play. Rod Carey has enough to figure out as it is, and getting steamrolled by Cincinnati wouldn’t be doing his kids any favors.
11. USF (1-8)
It was another loss, but what an exciting way to end the 2020 season. USF put up 46 points on UCF’s defense, and it was the first time I was excited watching the Bulls move the football. Jordan McCloud threw for 404 yards, a career high, and it should give fans some excitement for Jeff Scott’s second season. Oh, and the uniforms they wore were phenomenal too.