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Three Things We Learned about the AAC in Week Five

Houston stands still, USF surprises, and UCF gives us hope

South Florida v Cincinnati
QB Quinton Flowers (9) and WR Tyre McCants (8) celebrate a touchdown against Cincinnati on Saturday.
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Houston’s schedule could be a problem

After Week One, we were all on the Houston train, our most proud moment as the champions of Underdogs everywhere. Top 6 ranking? How, we all asked ourselves, could it get any better than that? Sure, we know their AAC schedule could be a problem, but after the OU game, that was all settled, wasn’t it?

Well, UW just beat Stanford over the weekend, and leap-frogged the Cougars to #5. As of this moment, Houston has only one ranked opponent left on their schedule— Louisville, whom they play in Houston on Nov. 17. How well Louisville recovers after this weekend’s loss could make all the difference for the Cougars. Other than that, it’s waiting for Bama, Ohio State, Clemson, or Michigan to lose a game, and we’re not sure what odds Vegas is gonna give us on that.

South Florida might run the table

USF remains unranked, appearing this week in the “others receiving votes” category of the AP Poll. After winning in dominating fashion against Cincinnati this week, the Bulls appear to be the official 2nd-best team in the conference.

Elsewhere in the AAC, ECU put up huge yardage but lost this week to UCF. Memphis also lost for the first time this season to its first high-profile opponent, making them a question mark heading into conference play. The Bulls, meanwhile, began conference play with a bang, shutting down a very good Cincinnati team to make a statement. If they can out-gain ECU next week, they’re in excellent position to not lose again until the season finale against UCF on Nov. 26.

Except, the thing about that is...

UCF won’t run the table, but a bowl is definitely in the cards

We’ve championed East Carolina in this space before, due to their explosive yardage and impressive air attack. UCF shut all that down this week, stopping the Pirates 47-29. While most of ECU’s points came through the air (488 yards passing), the Knights completely shut them down on the ground, allowing only 33 yards rushing all day.

UCF had respectable yardage through the air (156) and on the ground (217) and this is good enough for a few more wins against the bottom of the AAC slate. After going 0-12 just a year ago, seeing the progress on the field has to put hope back in the hearts of Knight fans everywhere.

They host the new-look Tulane this Friday, and if that game is similar to this one, UCF could just run the able through the end of the season against USF on Nov. 26..... except for the Houston game on Oct. 29. That one will be pretty ugly. Sorry, Knights.