Week 14: AAC Power Rankings

Billy breaks down the AAC as the conference heads into the regular season's final weekend. One thing is for sure. Memphis has won a share of the AAC title!

1. Memphis (9-3, 7-1; LW: 1): Memphis clinched a share of its first conference championship since 1971 as the Tigers were 41-10 winners against UConn Saturday. It was all Tigers with Paxton Lynch throwing for almost 200 yards and four touchdowns while the rushing attack contributed a combined 178 yards on the ground. Against a UConn team that has hung around against some better opponents, this was the exact type of game Memphis needed to come out with to do their part as they close out their season as AAC champs.

2. Cincinnati (8-3, 6-1; LW: 2): Cincinnati is in the same boat as UCF, if the Bearcats win, they’ll grab a share of the AAC title. Cincinnati is looking for a share of its fifth conference championship in seven years. The Bearcats took care of business by grinding out a 14-6 win over Temple. Both teams were sluggish on offense, but Mike Boone ran for 62 yards and a score to get the win. Cincy hosts Houston on Saturday with a shot at the AAC title.

3. UCF (8-3, 6-1; LW: 3): UCF’s defense stepped up big time, holding USF to 200 total yards including just five yards on the ground in their 16-0 win over the Bulls. Even with three turnovers, the Knights were 11-of-18 on third down and were able to get the win. Justin Holman only totaled 150 yards in the air, a touchdown and interception, so he’ll have to clean that up before next week. UCF heads to East Carolina with a shot to win a share of the conference championship.

4. East Carolina (8-3, 5-2; LW: 4): Shane Carden completed 28 of 41 passes for 338 yards and four touchdowns with one interception and Zeek Bigger had 14 tackles an interception and a pass breakup in a 49-32 win against Tulsa. While East Carolina is out of the running for the AAC title, the team can still ruin UCF’s season this weekend when the Pirates host the Knights.

5. Houston (7-4, 5-2; LW: 5): After a sluggish first half by the Cougars, Houston turned it on in the second, scoring 28 unanswered points to crush SMU 35-9. Greg Ward Jr. and Kenneth Farrow combined for five touchdowns and had a monster third quarter to put the Mustangs away. Houston heads to Cincinnati Saturday with a chance to ruin the Bearcats season.

6. Temple (5-6, 3-4; LW: 6): Temple was held to just three field goal tries all game and was forced to punt eight times in their loss to Cincinnati. A P.J. Walker fumble was turned into Cincinnati’s first touchdown of the day. The Owls were 4-of-16 on third downs and turned the ball over another time during the game. After a 4-1 start, Temple has lost 5-of-6 and ends their season at Tulane this week.

7. Tulsa (2-10, 2-6; LW: 8): Dane Evans threw at least one touchdown pass in all 12 games for the Golden Hurricane. Evans latest effort fell short of beating Cincinnati 49-32 as Evans threw for 199 yards and a touchdown, but did throw two interceptions. Both Tulsa running backs James Flowers and D’Angelo Brewer averaged over 14 yards per carry and both scored, but it wasn’t enough. The icing on the game was when an Evans pass in the fourth quarter went the other way for an interception. Tulsa finishes the year at 2-10 and fired Bill Blakenship over the weekend.

8. South Florida (4-8, 3-5; LW: 7): South Florida’s ground game was horrific this week, totaling five yards on the ground in their 16-0 loss to UCF. RB Marlon Mack ended his freshman season with a league-leading 1,041 rushing yards, but had 32 in the loss. The Bulls defense did force three turnovers, but the offense just couldn’t get moving. The Bulls’ season is over now.

9. Tulane (3-8, 2-5; LW: 9): Tulane was on a bye this weekend, but finishes with Temple at home on Saturday. The Green Wave have had two rough weeks facing Memphis and East Carolina, being blown out in each game, but can finish their season with a nice win over a Temple team trying to be bowl eligible.

10. Connecticut (2-9, 1-6; LW: 10): It wasn’t that Connecticut couldn’t get anything going against Memphis in their 41-10 loss, the Huskies just couldn’t finish drives and their defense was poor. Memphis was allowed to drive up and down the field with ease and the Huskies couldn’t do anything about it. Tim Boyle couldn’t get the offense rolling as he finished with 160 yards through the air. Connecticut hosts SMU at 11 a.m. CT on Saturday.

11. SMU (0-11, 0-7; LW: 11): SMU was able to hang around against the Houston Cougars on Saturday, leading 9-7 at half, but was scoreless in the second as the Cougars ran away with it 35-9. The only offense SMU could muster was what Matt Davis could put up, which included a 67-yard touchdown to Jeremiah Gaines. Other than that, SMU was held to just 223 total yards and 4-for-15 on third downs. SMU heads to Connecticut Saturday looking for their first win.

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