Week 9: AAC Power Rankings

The weekly power rankings for the AAC have come out! SMU is still in the cellar, but was there any movement at all?

1. East Carolina (6-1, 3-0; LW: 1): East Carolina got all they could handle from the Connecticut Huskies, but scored the final 10 points of the game to win 31-21. Shane Carden continued to impress by throwing for 445 yards and two touchdowns. Carden led the Pirates to the Friday night win even with penalties and redzone miscues plaguing ECU. The Pirates owned the fourth quarter though and that was enough to keep the Pirates undefeated AAC record in tact. ECU goes on the road to Temple this week.

2. UCF (5-2, 3-0; LW: 2): UCF had a big first half against Temple, building a 27-14 lead over the Owls before scoring late in the third quarter to get the win. Justin Holman had an efficient day, throwing for over 300 yards and two touchdowns, but UCF also had 94 yards and two touchdowns from William Stanback. The UCF defense held Temple to just 182 yards and 3-13 on third down conversions to stifle any hope for the Owls. UCF hosts Connecticut this week.

3. Houston (4-3, 2-1; LW: 3): The Cougars were off this week, but head down to South Florida against the Bulls who are fighting to go to a bowl this year. It’s a winnable game for both teams as Houston has been up-and-down, but has won two straight after losing to UCF. Greg Ward is only getting better at quarterback so watch as he develops this game against a USF defense that gave up close to 600 yards to Cincinnati this week.

4. Memphis (4-3, 2-1; LW: 4): Memphis kept SMU’s winless streak going. Paxton Lynch was surgical for the Tigers, completing 17 of 23 passes for a touchdown, but it was a solid rushing attack that really wore SMU down. Memphis almost had two 100-yard rushers and both averaged over five yards per carry. If Memphis can run the ball like that every game, watch out.

5. Cincinnati (4-3, 2-1; LW: 5): Munchie Legaux stepped up big time for the Bearcats as they rolled over USF. Legaux didn’t throw a touchdown or interception, but went 14 for 15 for 121 yards and directed an offense that couldn’t be stopped even with Gunner Kiel out with an injury. The Bearcats shut down USF’s running game, holding freshman Marlon Mack to just 54 yards. A good solid win for Cincinnati that they needed to improve to 2-1 in the AAC. Cincy has their second straight Friday night game against Tulane on the road this week.

6. Temple (4-3, 2-2; LW: 6): Turnovers were the story for the Owls as they turned the ball over four times with P.J. Walker throwing two interceptions and Connor Reilly throwing another. There wasn’t any rushing attack for the Owls and the game got out of hand. UCF dominated Temple on both sides of the ball. Temple has a lot of questions to answer on offense for a team that was thought to be a dark horse for the AAC champion this year. The Owls host ECU this week.

7. South Florida (3-5, 2-2; LW: 7): The Bulls kept it close against Cincinnati, but the Bearcats pulled away, building a 27-3 lead before the Bulls added two scores and Cincinnati scored another time in the fourth quarter. Steven Bench replaced Mike White and played better, but USF couldn’t overcome giving up 590 yards and their four turnovers. A lot of things to work on for USF after being thumped on a Friday night game before Houston comes to town.

8. Tulsa (1-6, 1-2; LW: 8): Tulsa was on a bye as they ready for the second Friday night double header for the AAC against Memphis. The Golden Hurricane make the trip to Memphis, who’s coming off a solid win over SMU this week. Tulsa will have their hands full that’s for sure.

9. Tulane (2-5, 1-2; LW: 9): Tulane was also off this week as they prepare for their matchup against Cincinnati on Friday. The Green Wave played UCF tough last week, losing 20-13. The offense for Tulane is ranked 119th in points for. That’s not exactly where you want to be with the Bearcats coming to town. Kickoff on Friday is at 7 p.m. CT.

10. Connecticut (1-6, 0-4; LW: 10): The Huskies played their hearts out, but it wasn’t enough. The four-touchdown underdogs couldn’t pull off the biggest win of their season on the road, falling to ECU. Chandler Whitmer made some big time throws during the game for UConn, but the Pirates pulled away. Connecticut was able to hang around by taking advantage of the Pirates’ miscues, but penalties of their own killed the Huskies’ chances. The Huskies head to UCF for another tough game this week against UCF.

11. SMU (0-7, 0-3; LW: 11): SMU has been eliminated from a bowl game for the second straight year after this loss. The questions are the same. Who’s the quarterback? Where’s the rushing attack? Can the defense get a break and get some time on the sideline? It’s a complete mess on offense with Matt Davis and Garrett Krstich combining for 114 yards passing. Can basketball season get here quick enough? SMU heads to Tulsa this week for another 11 a.m. kickoff.

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