AAC Week 8 Power Rankings

Billy checks in with an update on how the American Athletic Conference faired this past week!

1. East Carolina (5-1, 2-0; LW: 1): East Carolina was off this weekend and it’s a good thing the Pirates had a bye. ECU has a short week to prepare for the lowly Connecticut Huskies on Thursday. The bye week helped them bridge the gap from a tougher win over USF than originally thought. The Pirates are up to #18 in the polls now.

2. UCF (4-2, 2-0; LW: 2): UCF struggled to dispatch Tulane at home, winning 20-13. The Knights turned the ball over four times, but were able to overcome that and get the win. Nick Patti replaced Justin Holman in the third quarter, but after three series, Holman was back in. The Knights have a host of issues and it starts at quarterback. The Knights now host Temple this week.

3. Houston (4-3, 2-1; LW: 4): Houston smacked Temple at home 31-10 to jump up in the number 3 spot in our power rankings this week. Greg Ward, Jr. stepped up with 268 yards and two touchdowns. Houston also played turnover-free football en route to holding the ball for over 42 minutes. Ward’s TD passes both came in the third quarter as Houston put the game away. Houston has a bye week before heading to South Florida on Nov. 1.

4. Memphis (3-3, 1-1; LW: 5): Memphis heads to SMU this week to get back on track after a loss against Houston. The Tigers had a bye week to prepare for SMU and will be looking to get above .500 again.

5. Cincinnati (3-3, 1-1; LW: 6): Gunner Kiel responded after a tough couple games to throw for 241 yards and a touchdown to help beat SMU on the road, 41-3. Most importantly for Cincinnati, the Bearcats didn’t turn the ball over. After giving up a field following their opening score, the Bearcats racked up the 35 final points, blowing out SMU. Cincinnati faces South Florida at home on Friday night.

6. Temple (4-2, 2-1; LW: 3): P.J. Walker had a rough outing on the road in Houston as he threw for 259 yards and a touchdown, but also three interceptions. The Owls were just 2 of 11 on third downs and mustered 98 yards rushing. The Owls need to develop consistency in their game as they are beginning to slide in the rankings. The Owls get to regroup before heading to UCF, which could make or break their chances in the AAC.

7. South Florida (3-4, 2-1; LW: 7): Receiver Andre Davis helped USF engineer the largest comeback in program history as the Bulls overcame a 27-7 halftime deficit to take a 38-30 win at Tulsa. Davis finished with six receptions for 154 yards, including three second-half touchdowns as USF outscored the Golden Hurricane 31-3 in the final 30 minutes. The Bulls offense came alive, which was great, but it still was against Tulsa. The Bulls head to Cincy on Friday.

8. Tulsa (1-6, 1-2; LW: 8): A complete self-destruction in the second half by the Golden Hurricane. Even with Dane Evans passing for 314 yards and a touchdown, Tulsa couldn’t get anything going in the second half. The Golden Hurricane have now lost six in a row and are spiraling out of control. Luckily’ they’ve got a bye to regroup before facing Memphis.

9. Tulane (2-5, 1-2; LW: 9): Tulane was close to grabbing their second AAC win, but couldn’t take down the UCF Knights on the road. Nick Montana threw two interceptions in his second start and almost rallied the team to a win after a TD early in the fourth quarter, but Tulane was held to under 300 yards of offense. Tulane has a bye this week.

10. Connecticut (1-5 0-3; LW: 10): Connecticut also had a bye before their Thursday night matchup against East Carolina. This one could be ugly as the Huskies head to ECU for this one. This is where you wish there was flex scheduling like the NFL has. Game kicks off at 6 p.m. CT.

11. SMU (0-6, 0-2; LW: 11): SMU had a downright embarrassing performance yet again against Cincinnati. After playing well against the Pirates two weeks ago, SMU laid an egg. The offense was ineffective and turnover-prone plus the defense gave up 508 yards. Garrett Krstich had three turnovers and Matt Davis didn’t fair any better. SMU has to regroup again this week before Memphis comes to town or SMU will officially be out of it for a bowl bid.

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