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Out of Bounds: An Unconventional Weekly American Athletic Conference Preview

This isn’t your grandfather’s weekly conference preview. This is AAC game day outside the lines.

Syndication: Memphis Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal, Memphis Commercial Appeal via Imagn Content Services, LLC

It’s been a whole week and I shouldn’t have left you without a dope preview to prep to.

But Week 4 got the best of me like any good three-games-in-three-days college football bender should. It was a blur of App State fans and Charlotte champagne pops and Tagovailoa Terp touchdowns.

But I’m back on my AAC grind, rested and ready to give you the very best things about the American’s Week 5 matchups, outside the lines of.

Houston at Tulsa

Courage. Tulsa linebacker Yohance Burnett has been named as a nominee for this year’s Capital One Orange Bowl Courage Award, overcoming multiple ACL tears to start all four games so far this season. Burnett transferred from Navarro Junior College to Tulsa in 2018 and suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during fall camp. Two years later, Burnett tore the ACL in his left knee during fall camp. The 6-foot-1, 223-pound Burnett has rebounded from both injuries to post the third-most tackles on the team (24) through four games this season, including 1.5 tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry.

Fun unrelated fact: For every touchdown Tulsa scores in this game, engineering firm CEC will be donating money to the Alzheimer’s Association to help end Alzheimer’s.

Memphis at Temple

Homecoming. You are going to hear this word a lot this week as several school’s welcome alumni back to campus for fall festivities. The Owls will not only have a tailgate but a family 5k and MOSIAC concert as well, featuring music from Boyer student soloists and ensembles, including the TU Jazz Band, Wind Symphony and the Temple University Choirs. Plus there is even an Art Market at Tyler where Temple fans can learn about featured artists, their stories, their processes and visit their websites or shops to purchase their work.

Cincinnati at Notre Dame

Fate. This game holds the very soul of the college football playoff in its oh-so-capable hands. That is, if the CFP has a soul which has yet to be determined. This top-10 matchup between two undefeated teams means one will see any playoff hopes come to an end. The Bearcats are the best chance the Group of Five has to finally crash the CFP party but the Irish know they need to fight to stay unbeaten if they also want a shot at Indy.

UCF at Navy

Defense. Not from an in-game perspective, that’s going to be more of an offense thing, but from an in-between-plays standpoint.

The Naval Academy Athletic Association will retire Chet Moeller’s No. 48 on Saturday. Moeller will be the first defensive player to have his number retired at Navy, joining Joe Bellino (No. 27), Roger Staubach (No. 12), Napoleon McCallum (No. 30) and Keenan Reynolds (No. 19).

Tulane at ECU

Parmalee. The American Country Music band is coming home to East Carolina Saturday to play a halftime show as part of the school’s homecoming celebration. The brothers and their cousin will be getting Rowdy in Dowdy as the Pirates try to ride the Green Wave. It’s also Agriculture awareness week. Did you know: over 80 different crops and commodities are grown in North Carolina?

USF at SMU

More coming home. The Mustangs doing it right with a Go Big & Come Home theme for this year’s Homecoming festivities. There’s a Distinguished Alumni Awards show, a lazer light show to highlight SMU Ignited, Undergraduate reunions, happy hours, the Pigskin Revue, a parade and of course multiple tailgates. Plus, you can get two tickets for just $40 OR a four pack that includes hotdogs, chips and sodas for just $79. Talk about Ponying up.