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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: The Enquirer Albert Cesare / The Enquirer via Imagn Content Services, LLC

Week 5 was illuminating for American fans – we found out just how much fight teams like ECU, Navy and Temple have. And we saw program history made when the mighty Bearcats dismantled the Fighting Irish in South Bend, giving the team its first-ever win over a top-10 program.

Just don’t call it an upset.

Plus, Houston and SMU continued asserting their offensive dominance at the hands of two very capable quarterbacks. I was impressed with the moxie the USF Bulls continue to show but am very unsure what to make of Tulsa.

Football aside, let’s check out what Week 6 has in store outside the lines. Side note: this week is the conference wide #Pow6rfulMinds campaign to end the stigma surrounding mental health.

Motivational quotes that Tulsa student-athletes wrote around the Kendall Bell Monday.

Houston at Tulane

Throwback. As in Thursday. As in one of the themes for the Green Wave’s return home and mid-week rematch against the Cougars. And an homage to two years ago when Tulane dialed up a last-second gutsy play to upset Houston 38-31. It is also the Cancer Awareness game. So hopefully we will see some pink gear gracing the field.

Temple at Cincinnati

Nippert at Night. The Bearcats will definitely want to go streaking Friday night, under the Owl’s watchful eyes – Nippert Stadium is home of the second longest active home win streak in college football. To protect that sacred streak, Cincinnati is encouraging all fans to wear black to the game. And their sunglasses. At night. In fact, the school will be giving away free sunglasses to the first 2,000 students. They also provided fans with this delicious Big Mac Sloppy Joe recipe. Bon Appétit!

ECU at UCF

Fan Choice. It’s family weekend in the Bounce House and fans are allowed to come wearing their favorite UCF gear for the Knight’s game against Eastern Carolina. It is also family weekend, so watch your language and mind your p’s and q’s – your pick sixes and quarterback scrambles of course. Plus, country music singer Bailey Callahan will be taking the stage at the Pacifico Tailgate Concert Series so break out those Broadway boots!

SMU at Navy

Hardware. Navy and SMU will play for the Gansz Trophy, created in 2009 by the SMU and Navy Athletic Departments. The Gansz Trophy is a traveling trophy to honor the late coaching legend Frank Gansz. Navy is 7-2 all-time in Gansz Trophy games. Considered one of the top special teams coach in the history of the NFL, Frank Gansz spent time at both SMU and the Naval Academy. Gansz was starting his second season as special teams coach on the Hilltop when he passed away on April 27, 2009. As a collegian, Gansz played center and linebacker for the Naval Academy from 1957 to 1959 and graduated in 1960. He also spent four seasons as an assistant coach at Navy.

Memphis at Tulsa

Celebrate. The Golden Hurricane celebrates its homecoming game Saturday against the Memphis Tigers. Tulsa has the smallest FBS enrollment with 2,929 undergraduate students (based off 2020-21 statistics). Tulsa’s overall enrollment is 3,961. Last year’s Homecoming game that was scheduled for Oct. 17 against Cincinnati was canceled due to covid-19 cases at Cincinnati. The theme for this year’s Homecoming is “Let the Hurricane Roar”. Tulsa has posted an overall 53-39-3 record on Homecoming and this is the eighth time that Tulsa has hosted Memphis on Homecoming. Two former Golden Hurricane football student-athletes –– PK Stu Crum (‘82) and DB Albert Myres (‘86) –– will be honored by the University as two of the three Distinguished Alumni for 2020-21.