Matt Visinsky

American Athletic Conference Power Rankings: Week 11

Billy has your week 11 AAC power rankings. SMU battled, but lost. Did they move up though?

1. Houston Cougars (9-0, AAC: 5-0; LW: 2)

Last week: beat Cincinnati 33-30

Houston snuck away with a victory over a Cincinnati team that had beaten the Bearcats five straight times. Greg Ward., Jr. and Kenneth Farrow had over 100 yards each on the ground while the defense forced three turnovers and a safety. It wasn’t pretty, but Houston got rid of those demons with the win ahead of their massive AAC matchup against Memphis.

This week: vs. Memphis on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6 pm CT on ESPN2

2. Navy (7-1, AAC: 5-0; LW: 4)

Last week: beat Memphis 45-20

The Midshipmen relied on their strong ground game to rush for 374 yards and five touchdowns. Keenan Reynolds was mentioned by Peter Gammons as a Heisman candidate that would really be deserving and it was worth acknowledging. Navy doesn’t beat Memphis without Reynolds regardless of how bad the Tigers were on defense and the fact that Reynolds didn’t score a touchdown. It was a massive AAC win for the Midshipmen, who now control their own destiny. 

This week: vs. SMU on Sat., Nov. 14 at 2:30 pm CT on CBS Sports Net

3. Memphis Tigers (8-1, AAC: 4-1; LW: 1)

Last week: lost to Navy 45-20

Well, Memphis got gashed on the ground and looked lost on offense against the Midshipmen. Paxton Lynch directed a Memphis offense that was just average. Lynch threw for over 300 yards and a touchdown, but threw an interception — one of three Memphis turnovers. Memphis fell flat and now sits on the outside looking in on the division picture after a great start.

This week: at Houston on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6 pm CT on ESPN2

4. Temple Owls (8-1, AAC: 5-0; LW: 3)

Last week: beat SMU 60-40

I had to give Navy props here, which is why they jumped Temple, who squeaked by SMU. It was surely the closest 60-40 game I ever saw (no this wasn’t hoops). P.K. Walker threw for 268 yards and five total touchdowns on the day and are now poised to win the East Division if they can beat USF this week. It wasn’t easy, but Matt Rhule’s guys delivered when they needed to. 

This week: at South Florida on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6 pm CT on CBS Sports Net

5. Cincinnati Bearcats (5-4, AAC: 2-3; LW: 5)

Last week: lost to Houston 33-30

Gunner Kiel was redhot against Houston — throwing for 523 yards and four touchdowns, but could’t complete the comeback. Kiel was forced to throw four incompletions on the final drive and Houston was able to hold on. Houston did intercept two Kiel passes and that was the difference. If Kiel would have had another drive, I’d bet Houston would have been an upset victim too.

This week: vs. Tulsa on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm CT on ESPNews

6. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (5-4, AAC: 2-3; LW 6)

Last week: beat UCF 45-30

Ramadi Warren ran for 168 yards and three touchdowns as Tulsa was able to beat UCF. Dane Evans only threw for 150 yards and two touchdowns while also being intercepted twice. Tulsa managed to return an interception for a touchdown as well. Without Tulsa’s four turnovers, this one isn’t close at all.

This week: at Cincinnati on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6:30 pm CT on ESPNews

7. Connecticut Huskies (5-5, AAC: 3-3; LW: 7)

Last week: beat Tulane 7-3

Connecticut has held all of its opponents to 17 points or less in their five wins. That’s great stuff. Even better, with their offense struggling, James Summers returned an interception for a touchdown to earn the 7-3 win and get them one win away from bowl eligibility. 

This week: OFF

8. South Florida Bulls (5-4, AAC: 3-2; LW: 9)

Last week: beat ECU 22-17

The Bulls got it done in all facets of the game to get the win with a safety, two field goals and a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Quentin Flowers. That’s four wins in the Bulls’ last five games and leaves them one win from bowl eligibility. Progress is being made under Willie Taggart. The Bulls defense held the Pirates without a first down in the first half and only allowed 220 yards of offense. 

This week: vs. Temple on Sat., Nov. 14 at 6 pm CT on CBS Sports Net

9. East Carolina Pirates (4-6, AAC: 2-4; LW: 8)

Last week: lost to USF 22-17

ECU couldn’t comeback after USF pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to get the win. ECU has fallen off after a promising start with their two quarterbacks, but James Summers and Blake Kemp have both been suspect. This time, it was just Summers’ show and he threw for just 158 yards and added 42 yards on the ground. The defense allowed USF running back Marlon Mack to run for 117 yards and control the clock too. The wheels are coming off for ECU.

This week: OFF

10. SMU Mustangs (1-8, AAC: 0-5; LW: 11)

Last week: lost to Temple 60-40

SMU had Temple on its heels and was planning on getting the ball back, but a fake punt was converted by Temple and the Owls scored a touchdown that really set SMU back. Matt Davis also fumbled and that hurt SMU’s comeback bid even more. While there were many things that contributed to the loss, these two standout along with SMU’s slow start. SMU is close to breaking through, but they keep beating themselves. Braeden West is coming into his own in the return game and Xavier Jones continues to look good. Bright spots for a tough loss for SMU.

This week: at Navy on Sat., Nov. 14 at 2:30 pm CT on CBS Sports Net

11. Tulane Green Wave (2-7, AAC: 1-5; LW: 10)

Last week: lost to Connecticut 7-3

Tulane couldn’t muster an offensive touchdown, but threw an interception for a touchdown that was the difference in this one. 

This week: at Army on Sat., Nov. 14 at 11 am CT on CBS Sports Net

12. UCF Knights (0-10, AAC: 0-6; LW: 12)

Last week: lost to Tulsa 45-30

Justin Holman had a better day as he threw for 293 yards and two scores, but UCF couldn’t score enough and Holman had a pass intercepted for a touchdown. One of many tough losses for UCF this year. 

This week: OFF

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