Week 2: AAC Power Rankings

Billy breaks down the AAC and where all the football teams stack up! See where SMU is after their tough start!

1. Cincinnati (0-0, 0-0; LW- NA): Tommy Tuberville is again at the helm for the Bearcats, who return Munchie Legaux and have added Gunner Kiel at quarterback. The two battled it out, but Kiel got the nod to lead an offense that returns eight starters. If Kiel can put it together on the field, Tuberville will have his best offense since being at Cincy. Cincinnati has yet to play a ball game, which is why they sit atop the power rankings still. The Bearcats open with Toledo at home on Friday at 6 pm CT on ESPNU.

2. East Carolina (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): Shane Carden and East Carolina’s high-flying offense have arrived in the AAC and while they have yet to play a conference game, they’re making some noise. After a tearing apart North Carolina Central 52-7, the Pirates fell to South Carolina 33-23 on the road. Carden turned the ball over twice and although the Pirates offense has churned up some yards, the careless play led to the loss. The Pirates outgained the Gamecocks, but held the ball for just over 23 minutes as the Gamecocks grinded out 175 yards on the ground for the win. The Pirates head to Virginia Tech this week, who is coming off a big win over Ohio State.

3. UCF (0-1, 0-0; LW: NA): Last year’s Fiesta Bowl champions were dealt a tough loss to open the season against Penn State in Ireland. After plenty of success last year with Blake Bortles at the helm, the Golden Knights may have a quarterback controversy between Pete DiNovo and Justin Holman. DiNovo was pulled in his first start and Holman came on to complete nine of 14 passes for 204 yards. Another tough matchup awaits against Missouri, but after such a poor offensive performance, can UCF avoid a 0-2 start to their season.

4. Memphis (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): Memphis has had a tough go the last few years, but like we saw towards the end of last season, their offense is coming alive. After a 63-0 thumping of Austin Peay to open their season, the Tigers headed to Los Angeles to face UCLA. Memphis tied the game early in the fourth quarter and had a chance at the upset, but lost 42-35. The Tigers allowed 540 yards of offense including 396 yards passing by Heisman hopeful Brett Hundley. Paxton Lynch passed for over 300 yards, but the Tigers just couldn’t finish enough drives, going six of 16 on third downs. The Tigers have a week off before hosting Middle Tennessee.

5. Houston (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): Since June Jones’ resignation, Houston fans are calling for Tony Levine to be fired as well to get a jump on SMU in getting a new coach. Well the Cougars have won a game at least. Their loss though to UTSA put Houston fans in a bad mood for this season. John O’Korn hasn’t looked like anything special this season. O’Korn threw four interceptions against the Road Runners, a major step back for him. The balance of power may be shifting in Texas among the schools outside of the P5 conferences. Could be a long season for SMU and Houston, who heads to play a BYU team that just smacked Texas.

6. Temple (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): Temple was just one score away from a 2-0 start after last year’s rough start. The Owls’ P.J. Walker has been solid in their first two games, completing over 60 percent of his passes for 447 yards. The Owls shocked Vanderbilt on the road 37-7 and then nearly beat Navy, who was coming off a good performance against Ohio State, but fell 31-24. The young signal caller got his shot late last year and if he continues to take strides, the Owls could ruin some seasons in the AAC. Temple has two weeks to make corrections and get ready for Delaware State.

7. South Florida (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): USF couldn’t have been any worse on offense than the Bulls were last year. They’re already proving to be a little more of a threat than last year. The Bulls beat Western Carolina with a 275-yard rushing performance by freshman Marlon Mack, but followed that up with just 75 yards against Maryland in a loss. The Terrapins scored 10 points in the fourth quarter to rally past the Bulls. USF did force six turnovers and has a defense that can stop a lot of AAC teams. With a heralded freshmen class, USF will be a threat, but could face a lot of challenges as a young team. The Bulls host NC State this weekend at 2:30 pm CT on CBS Sports.

8. Tulsa (1-1, 1-0; LW: NA): It has been tough for Tulsa since SMU beat them in 2012. The Golden Hurricane went 3-9 last season, their last in C-USA. Although Tulsa currently sits atop the AAC with the only conference win in the league, they won’t be there for long. Tulsa doesn’t have the easiest schedule, facing the likes of Temple, Memphis, UCF and ECU this year. After a drubbing from Oklahoma, Tulsa will regroup to face Florida Atlantic on the road this weekend. Soph. QB Dante Evans is trying to improve on his 56 percent completion percentage and 642 yards. Evans has also tossed four INTs.

9. Tulane (0-2, 0-1; LW: NA): Tulane comes over from Conference USA to the AAC as well this season and haven’t started well. The Green Wave battled Tulsa to a 2OT loss on the opening weekend of college football. Now they opened their new stadium with a loss to Georgia Tech. Tulane has scored a bit, putting up 31 and 21 respectively in their games, but five turnovers in their first two games have held them back from achieving their true offensive potential. The Green Wave host Southeast Louisiana with hopes of grabbing their first win.

10. Connecticut (1-1, 0-0; LW: NA): In year one of Bob Diaco’s tenure at UConn, everyone knows it’s going to be round. The Huskies did put up a solid fight against BYU, but did lose 35-10. Quarterback Casey Cochran has gave up on football since to become a coach. That leaves Chandler Whitmer as the Huskies QB for the season. BYU held the Huskies to under 100 yards on the ground. UConn then just barely topped Stony Brook, 19-16 at home, to earn Diaco his first win. UConn was again held to a poor offensive output, being outgained 300 yards to 223. The Huskies have a lot of work to do to get ready for Boise State, their third straight home matchup.

11. SMU (0-2, 0-0; LW: NA): The lowest of the low has to be the Mustangs right now. June Jones just resigned. The team has totaled a negative rushing yardage so far this season and things don’t look like they’re on the up. What’s even worse, Neal Burcham may be lost for the year. Tom Mason takes over and has a little bit more energy. Will that be enough to get wins against Texas A&M and TCU? Unlikely, but SMU has an extra week to prepare for the Aggies who come to Ford Stadium to open up SMU’s home slate.

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