1. UCF (11-1, 8-0; LW: 1): Even with the icy conditions UCF faced on the road against SMU and despite not getting the lead until late in the third quarter, UCF punched its ticket to the Fiesta Bowl against Baylor with a 17-13 win over SMU. Blake Bortles was able to orchestrate the game-winning drive late in the third quarter, capping it with his 15-yard touchdown run. Both running games were quiet, but Bortles threw for 242 yards and picked up timely first downs running the ball to win the game. The UCF defense also shut SMU out in the fourth quarter, ending SMU's chances of a comeback and the upset.
2. Louisville (11-1, 7-1; LW: 2): Louisville was able to avert disaster by beating Cincinnati on the road 31-24 in overtime. Bridgewater had one of his better games on the year, willing his team to victory with 255 yards passing and three touchdowns. His two fourth quarter touchdown passes gave Louisville the lead, but Cincy was able to force overtime with a late field goal. The Cardinals' defense was able to intercept quarterback Brendon Kay twice as he was hobbled as well during the game. Louisville heads to the Florida Citrus Bowl to face Miami, where Bridgewater will finish his career in his home state against his hometown team.
3. Cincinnati (9-3, 6-2; LW: 3): Brendon Kay just couldn't muster enough magic even with hiover 300 yards passing and two touchdown runs to avoid losing to Louisville 31-24. Kay marched the Bearcats down the field for the tying field goal with seven seconds left, but couldn't score in overtime, giving the Cardinals the win. Cincinnati gave the Cardinals everything they wanted in this Thursday night matchup, but it wasn't enough. Cincy will face North Carolina in the Belk Bowl.
4. Houston (8-4, 5-3; LW: 4): The Cougars didn't play this week and instead watched the rest of the conference finish up. Houston will head to the BBVA Compass Bowl to face the SEC's Vanderbilt, who has to be a bit upset after posting an 8-4 season, but still is heading to the Compass Bowl.
5. SMU (5-7, 4-4; LW: 5): Neal Burcham was much improved against UCF after his disaster of a game against Houston, but it wasn't enough as SMU lost 17-13 and missed out on a bowl game for the first time in four years. Kevin Pope finished off his SMU career as the team's leading rusher, running for 50 yards on eight carries, but other than that, SMU didn't have much going on the ground. The defense played well, giving up 17 points to one of the most balanced attacks in the conference. Penalties killed SMU though as the team racked up seven for 63 yards. SMU will be sitting at home for the first time in four years.
6. Connecticut (3-9, 3-5; LW: 6): UConn finished strong by whipping Memphis 45-10 with Casey Cochran throwing for a school record 461 yards and four touchdowns on the day. The Huskies finished the season with three straight wins after an 0-9 start, which has to give fans hope going into next season. The Huskies defense held firm against Memphis, holding them to 257 total yards and forcing two turnovers as well.
7. Rutgers (6-6, 3-5; LW: 8): Rutgers dominated South Florida from start to finish, getting up 14-0 in the first quarter and holding a 21-6 halftime lead en route to 31-6 win at home. Chas Dodd threw for two touchdowns while Paul James returned to form, rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. Rutgers will be heading to its eighth bowl game in nine years after the Scarlet Knights snapped a three-game skid to end the season. The Rutgers defense was able to hold USF quarterback Mike White to 141 yards passing and an interception. Rutgers faces Note Dame in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.
8. Temple (2-10, 1-7; LW: 7): Temple has known for a while that a bowl game was not in its future and watched the final week of the regular season from home. The team finished with a win over Memphis. Quarterback P.J. Walker will return next year and played well after being named the starter a few games in. Walker developed nicely, but will need to improve next season if Temple wants to get back to a bowl game.
9. Memphis (3-9, 1-7; LW: 9): Memphis had a rough end to its season, getting beat 45-10. The Tigers didn't have an answer for UConn quarterback Casey Cochran and was down 21-3 at the half. Paxton Lynch threw a touchdown passing in the third quarter, cutting the lead to 31-10, but the outcome was never in doubt. Memphis will stay at home for the bowl season, ending its season with three straight losses.
10. South Florida (2-10, 2-6; LW: 10): USF mustered just 151 total yards on the day and held the ball for just over 22 minutes in its 31-6 loss to Rutgers to end its rough season. First-year coach Willie Taggart is back to the drawing board now that the season is over to try and get USF back to relevancy. Taggart will have to work on eliminating penalties, which were an issue all season, but returns Mike White at quarterback, who showed some promise after being handed the keys to the offense during the season.
Final AAC Power Rankings
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