AAC Power Rankings

Publisher Billy Embody takes a look at the state of the AAC with his weekly power rankings!

First, check out Matt Visinsky's photo gallery from SMU vs. TCU

Now onto the rankings!

1. East Carolina (3-1, 0-0; LW: 1): East Carolina had a bye week to prepare for SMU’s high-powered offense comes to town. SMU actually though will have their hands full with ECU’s offense. Shane Carden has had a solid year, leading the number six passing offense in the country. This one could get ugly. 11 a.m. kickoff in Greenville, South Carolina.

2. Cincinnati (2-1, 0-0; LW: 2): Cincinnati was faced with the tough task of going to Ohio State to try and beat the Buckeyes and were dealt their first loss of the year, losing 50-28. Gunner Kiel (pictured) and Chris Moore connected on three of Kiel’s four touchdowns. Kiel threw for 352 yards with 221 of them going to Moore. The connection between the pair is strong, almost as strong as Jeff Luc’s start to his season. Luc notched 18 tackles and had a forced fumble as well. Luc is the unquestioned leader at linebacker for the Bearcats, who host Memphis this weekend at 6 pm CT.

3. Houston (2-2, 0-0; LW: 4): Even though Houston hasn’t played very well, neither has the rest of the bottom of the AAC. The Cougars stuck with the BYU Cougars a couple weeks back and put a beating on UNLV. This past week has to be used for getting John O’Korn at a more confident level going into conference play. The Cougars take on UCF this Thursday in a primetime matchup.

4. Temple (3-1, 1-0; LW: 6): Temple has already eclipsed their win total from last season, earning their third win over Connecticut behind P.J. Walker’s solid play. Walker was accurate, completing 20-29 passes for 231 yards. Without much of a running game, Temple won with Walker taking care of the ball while Temple’s defense scored two touchdowns and added a safety. UConn had the ball for over 35 minutes, but the turnovers proved costly as Temple had a nice team win this weekend.

5. UCF (1-2, 0-0; LW: 5): UCF had quarterback issues just like Houston, but had a QB battle on their hands. That appears to be settled with Justin Holman taking over at quarterback. The two teams will battle for AAC bragging rights Thursday night. Overall though, not a good start for UCF this season, ranking just ahead of SMU in rushing yards per game with 94.3 yards per game. UCF will need to help their quarterback out by developing a ground game versus the Cougars.

6. Memphis (2-2, 0-0; LW: 3): Speaking of the Tigers, Memphis had Ole Miss biting their nails for three quarters until the Rebels scored 17 points to beat the Tigers 24-3. Memphis was held to just 104 total yards and was 3-16 on third downs. That’s what ultimately hurt the Tigers. After playing a couple P5 teams tough, but unable to get the job done, the Tigers have proven to be a mediocre AAC team so far this year. They head to Cincinnati for their first AAC game.

7. South Florida (2-3, 1-0; LW: 9): USF managed just eight first downs on their trip to face Wisconsin, losing 27-10. The Bulls couldn’t get much going on the ground, running for just 72 yards while allowing Melvin Gordon to run wild for 181 yards and two touchdowns. The Bulls offense has been their Achilles heel, but their defense was exhausted trying to stop the Badgers’ running game, which totaled 294 yards rushing. The Bulls are off before hosting East Carolina.

8. Tulane (1-4, 0-1; LW: 8): Rutgers exploded on Tulane by rolling up 462 yards of total offense on the Green Wave to drop them to 1-4. Tulane played mistake free football, but couldn’t convert on third downs, going 3-15. Tulane had good balance, having 152 yards of rushing and passing on the day. Tulane freshman RB Sherman Badie has turned in two 100-yard performances in his first five games after he rushed for 108 yards on 12 carries. That was a positive for the Green Wave, a running game could really help create more room for their quarterbacks to operate. Tulane has a bye this week.

9. Tulsa (1-3, 1-0; LW: 7): Texas State beat Tulsa in three overtimes 37-34 after the Hurricane climbed back into the game after being down 17-3. After trading touchdowns in the first two overtime periods, Tulsa kicked a field goal then Texas State scored a touchdown to win. Disappointing loss for Tulsa and they’ll look to right the ship this weekend against Colorado State, but will need to be better than 8-21 on third down to do so.

10. Connecticut (1-4 0-2; LW: 10): Chandler Whitmer turned the ball over two key times that were returned for scores by Temple’s defense. Whitmer and the Huskies offense need more explosive plays like Whitmer’s 74-yard TD to Arkeel Newsome in the third quarter, but by then the game was already 28-10 with Newsome’s reception. The Huskies have a bye week before hosting Tulsa.

11. SMU (0-4, 0-0; LW: 11): SMU kept the game against TCU close for a quarter then completely fell apart. After being stopped on fourth and goal from the one-yard line, SMU allowed a 99-yard drive to the Horned Frogs that put the game away before the first half was over. SMU showed some ability to move the football, but TCU rolled up over 500 yards of offense and finished drives when SMU did not. SMU has to cut out costly penalties and play more disciplined if the team expects to get anything going in conference play.

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