1. Memphis Tigers (2-0, AAC: N/A; LW: 1)Last week: beat Kansas 55-23
Paxton Lynch led the Tigers to 651 yards of total offense and a 55-23 win over Kansas on the road to show that there certainly hasn’t been a fall off following last year offensively. The Tigers ran for 281 yards and scored on their first five possessions of the second half to really run away with the game. Memphis faces Bowling Green this week before a big AAC matchup against Cincinnati.
This week: at Bowling Green on Saturday at 2 pm CT
2. Temple Owls (2-0, AAC: 1-0; LW: 3)Last week: beat Cincinnati 34-26
It’s now not out of the realm of possibilities to see an undefeated Temple team hosting Notre Dame on Halloween. Temple’s huge win at Cincinnati on Saturday including a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown and forcing four Gunner Kiel interceptions in the second half. P.J. Walker was 13-of-20 for 81 yards and two touchdowns as Temple was outgunned 557 to 296, but due to all the Bearcats’ miscues, were able to win. Temple has a lot to work on as Matt Rhule said, but a win is a win and now Temple looks like it will be the overwhelming favorite to win the East division with that win out of the way.
This week: at UMass on Saturday at 2 pm CT
3. Houston Cougars (2-0, AAC: N/A; LW: 4)Last week: beat Louisville 34-31
After five fourth quarter lead changes and the dust having settled, Houston rallied to beat Louisville behind Greg Ward’s three touchdown passes and Kenneth Farrow’s 109 yards on 27 carries. Houston blocked a potential tying field goal with 54 seconds left to seal the win. The defense had four takeaways and held Louisville to 395 yards on the day to stun Bobby Petrino and the Cardinals.
This week: OFF
4. Cincinnati Bearcats (1-1, AAC: 0-1; LW: 2)Last week: lost to Temple 34-26
Cincinnati finished with 557 yards of offense, but couldn’t get the job done against Temple as special teams and turnovers crushed them and possibly their AAC title dreams. Kiel and company made a late comeback bid after Temple took the momentum right out of the gate in the second half, but couldn’t get it done. It was a brutal loss for a program that will still be in the heart of the AAC East division race, but must have Temple lose twice in the AAC and the Bearcats win out to see a shot at the title game.
This week: at Miami (OH) on Saturday at 2:30 pm CT
5. Navy (1-0, AAC: N/A; LW: 5)Last week: OFF
Navy was off this week after running over Colgate at home. The Midshipmen welcome East Carolina in for their first AAC game and will have to put together a great game against a team that game Florida everything they wanted in Gainesville this past week.
This week: vs. East Carolina on Saturday at 2:30 pm CT
6. SMU Mustangs (1-1, AAC: N/A; LW: 6)Last week: beat North Texas 31-13
After a very shaky start, SMU owned the fourth quarter against North Texas, scoring 21 points to beat UNT 31-13. Matt Davis earned an AAC honor roll mention for his close to 300 total yards and four total touchdowns while SMU’s defense dominated UNT. SMU forced four turnovers, sacked Andrew McNulty twice and held UNT to 240 total yards. After a tough matchup against Baylor, SMU proved it has the ability to have a bad game, overcome the adversity and win in the fourth quarter. SMU fans have to feel pretty good even after the Mustangs repeatedly made it more difficult on themselves to win, but still pulled this out.
This week: at TCU on Saturday at 7 pm.
7. South Florida Bulls (1-1, AAC: N/A; LW: 7)Last week: lost to Florida State 34-14
There’s no shame in losing to Florida State although USF kept it close and was tied at halftime before Florida State scored on all five of their second-half possessions to beat the Bulls. Running back D’Ernest Johnson had a pair of touchdown receptions in Tallahassee. It was an encouraging half for the Bulls before the wheels fell off, but the talent levels are on two different planes there.
This week: at Maryland on Saturday at 11 am CT
8. East Carolina Pirates (1-1, AAC: N/A; LW: 9)Last week: lost at Florida 31-24
Blake Kemp came into his own with 333 yards passing on the day, but it wasn’t enough to pull off the win in the Swamp this past weekend. Kemp did though have an interception returned for a touchdown and fumbled with 12 seconds left to seal ECU’s fate. The Pirates did hold Florida to 373 yards, 4 of 13 on third-down attempts and two turnovers. There’s a lot to build on here for the Pirates, who seem to be settling in with Kemp at quarterback. Their running game though… totaled -13 yards on 22 attempts. That’s bad.
This week: at Navy on Saturday at 2:30 pm CT
9. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (2-0, AAC: N/A; LW 10)Last week: beat New Mexico 40-21
Tulsa pulled away for a 40-21 win at New Mexico with over 600 yards of offense for the second straight game. While the competition level hasn’t been great, this has been about as good of a start offensively as Philip Montgomery could have hoped for his tenure. With over 300 yards passing from Dane Evans, two 100-yard rushers and two 100-yard receivers, the offense has it going on. The task to keep it going is much tougher this week with the team headed to OU to face a Sooners squad coming off an emotional win at Tennessee.
This week: at Oklahoma on Saturday at 11 am CT
10. UCF Knights (0-2, AAC: N/A; LW: 8)Last week: lost at Stanford 31-7
After a rough opening game, UCF had to head all the way out West to face Stanford and got beaten up on by a Stanford squad clearly upset with dropping their opener to Northwestern. UCF was shut out for almost the entire game before a score with just over a minute to go broke up the shutout. UCF was held to a brutal 181 total yards including 30 on the ground. The Knights did manage 15 first downs, but that had a lot to do with Stanford’s 12 penalties for 137 yards. The Knights look for their first win of the year over Furman this week at home.
This week: vs. Furman on Saturday at 5 pm CT
11. Connecticut Huskies (2-0, AAC: N/A; LW: 12)Last week: beat Army 22-17
Connecticut held Army to 180 yards rushing and nine first downs while quarterback Bryant Shirreffs threw for 270 yards in their second win of the year. In their first 2-0 start since 2008 and equalling their 2014 win total, the Huskies got it done with defense, an efficient passing game and a running back by committee approach. Arkeel Newsome, Ron Johnson and Bryant Shirreffs combined for 43 carries for 142 yards in the win. The road gets much tougher this week as the Huskies head to Missouri.
This week: at Missouri on Saturday at 11 am CT
12. Tulane Green Wave (0-2, AAC: N/A; LW: 11)Last week: lost to Georgia Tech 65-10
That was really bad. Georgia Tech is a top 15 team, but 439 yards rushing on the ground is a bad day on defense. Tulane didn’t muster much on the ground and Tanner Lee didn’t do much in the passing game. Tulane will look for their first win of the year this week at home with Maine coming to town. If the Green Wave can’t get it right this week, Curtis Johnson will seriously be feeling the heat just three games into the season.
This week: vs. Maine on Saturday at 7 pm CT