1. UCF (7-1, 4-0; LW: 1): On a day when Blake Bortles struggled, the UCF defense stepped up to hold Houston's offense to just 14 points to win 19-14 at home. The lone threat on offense that was consistent for the Golden Knights was running back Storm Johnson, who ran for 127 yards on the ground and helped UCF hold on to the ball for over 35 minutes. The UCF defense forced two John O'Korn interceptions and kept the pressure up all night. UCF now faces Temple this weekend in what should be an easy win as UCF continues its march to an AAC championship.
2. Louisville (8-1, 4-1; LW: 2): It was another lackluster performance from Teddy Bridgewater, but it got the job done against winless UCONN in the form of a 31-10 victory. Bridgewater threw for 288 yards and a touchdown but also threw an interception. The Cardinals held the lowly Huskies to just 237 yards of total offense and forced five turnovers as well. The Cardinals special teams and defense scored a touchdown each to pad the victory some more, but overall, it was another disappointing performance. The Cardinals host the Houston Cougars this weekend.
3. Houston (7-2, 4-1; LW: 3): The Cougars normally high-octane offense was held to just 14 points against UCF, all in the second half in their loss. John O ‘Korn threw for just 231 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions and was not able to capitalize on three UCF turnovers. The loss for the Cougars was their first in AAC play on the year and will have another tough test this weekend on the road against the Louisville Cardinals.
4. Cincinnati (7-2, 4-1; LW: 6): I guess it is time for everyone to say I told you so. Cincy beat the Mustangs 28-25, holding off another Garrett Gilbert comeback attempt. I still wouldn't say this is an incredible win, and the Bearcats did not look that impressive aside from their 28 unanswered points when SMU laid down. Brendon Kay threw two interceptions but was efficient enough to get the job done. The Bearcats defense was also torched by Gilbert for over 400 yards. Still not overly impressed by the Bearcats, but their three next games are against top five teams according to my power rankings. This week, they face Rutgers on the road.
5. Rutgers (5-3, 2-2; LW: 5): Rutgers had a bye week following their narrow victory against Temple, but the Scarlet Knights did see Gary Nova play better, which should give them some hope going into their matchup at home against Cincinnati. This is a solid matchup between two of the middle-tier teams in the AAC. If Rutgers wins, its bowl bound.
6. SMU (3-5, 2-2; LW: 4): Garrett Gilbert continued his passing assault on teams, but third down struggles, penalties, defense and special teams problems were the reason why SMU lost 28-25 to Cincinnati. This was one of those losses that could have been easily prevented, but SMU just didn't make enough plays. Chase Hover missed two field goals and that was the difference, plus going 5-for-12 on third downs did not help. The SMU defense forced three turnovers, but it still wasn't enough. SMU hosts lowly UCONN with a shot to get one win closer to bowl eligibility, but a loss will end all hopes of a bowl happening.
7. Memphis (2-6, 0-4; LW: 7): The Tigers were able to hold off UT-Martin 21-6 this weekend, avoiding another bad loss. Memphis was led by running back Brandon Hayes, who added 111 yards on 27 carries and had a few key runs late in the game to keep UT-Martin from coming back. Neither team was overly impressive, each having two turnovers and not being very productive on offense, but the Tigers avoided an ugly loss. Memphis heads to USF this weekend.
8. Connecticut (0-8, 0-4; LW: 10): UCONN was able to contain Teddy Bridgewater somewhat, but poor special teams play and quarterback play led to a 31-10 loss. The Huskies' five turnovers killed them as well, but no one really expected them to compete with the Cardinals. This week the Huskies come to Dallas to face SMU.
9. South Florida (2-6, 2-2; LW: 9): USF is coming off two weeks of byes, and it was much needed time off after two losses in a row. The Bulls, who found a little success on offense with Mike White at quarterback, will look to build off of that with hopes of trying to build some momentum for the last few games.
10. Temple (1-8, 0-5; LW: 8): Temple had a bye week to prepare for this weekend's likely whipping from UCF at home. Temple hasn't been impressive this season, even though they have given their last two opponents, SMU and Rutgers, all they could handle in losses. P.J. Walker continues to develop, but UCF is on another level so chalk up another loss for Temple before the Owls face UCONN and Memphis in consecutive weeks.
AAC Power Rankings
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