Coming into this season, we knew postponements were going to be a reality. Maybe it’s not worth being surprised at this point, but it’s fine to be disappointed by these postponements. For the most part, it’s for the best.
Temple and Navy postponed their September 26th game until October 10. This comes after Temple stated they wouldn’t be ready to safely compete due to a lack of practice. Seeing as their opponent, Navy, decided not to tackle or block in practice and it led to an awful performance, it’s fair to say they both need time to get ready.
This upcoming weekend was going to have a few high profile games with AAC teams, but a rash of postponements has made this weekend more of stopgap for the conference.
Originally, SMU and TCU were supposed to play for the Iron Skillet. That game has been cancelled due to a COVID-19 outbreak at TCU. If it were played, it would be the only college football game on Friday night and serve as a showcase for the conference and an excellent shot at beating a Power Five opponent. Now, that’s lost.
That wasn’t the only AAC-Big 12 match-up lost. Tulsa and Oklahoma State, another rivalry game, had to be delayed a week due to the Golden Hurricanes’ lack of practice from their own issues with COVID-19.
UCF and ECU both had games against C-USA opponents moved that would have been played this week as well. UCF likely would have beaten FIU big, while ECU and Marshall served as an interesting match-up. Those games have been lost for some time now.
This leaves two AAC teams in action this week. USF will play The Citadel, while Tulane takes on South Alabama. Unfortunately, neither of those matchups will turn a casual fan’s head.
Expectations for USF are not high this season. Add in an FCS opponent and it’s a forgettable game. The saving grace for this game is that it was moved from ESPN+ to ESPNU.
The Tulane matchup with South Alabama is more interesting. South Alabama wasn’t expected to be good coming into the season, but their win over Southern Miss forced out head coach Jay Hopson after a single game. The Jaguars showed off an explosive offense, and proved they’re more confident than a season ago. Tulane, meanwhile, is coming off two straight seasons winning a bowl game, and will be starting a new quarterback in Keon Howard.
For fans of the G5, this is an intriguing game. Unfortunately, the names won’t turn heads for fans who don’t normally watch the G5. Both teams suffer from unfair presumptions that surround their names historically. Still, the game is set to be played on ESPN2, so college football fans may find themselves watching this game by default.
Unfortunately, that’s it for a weekend in which the AAC needs to do well since week one saw some unexpected struggles. In a season that was supposed to be a showcase for the conference, things are off to a rocky start. The AAC will need to wait at least another week to show off a premier game.