A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC report: Cougars drop another one

Week seven in the AAC was pretty ho hum. No major upsets or unusual scoring totals. With only five games on the slate, there wasn't much room for a huge variance in the games played. Let's take a look at things from this past week:

Coogs drop to 2-4

A road loss to a ranked conference opponent isn't anything to be embarassed about. But when you're treating the quarterback position like Oprah does audience gifts, you almost deserve whatever you get. The Coogs were trailing 21-17 heading into the 4th quarter despite three turnovers up to that point. They went on to crap the bed and lost 38-23. Hey Coach Holgorsen: I still have some eligibility left. Can I play a few snaps at quarterback next week?

Other key results

Temple 30, Memphis 28: This was a mild upset. I'm talking off-brand store made salsa mild. Memphis was ranked #25 going on the road against a tough conference opponent. Credit Temple's defense who caused four turnovers.

Navy 45, Tulsa 17: The Midshipmen keep on rolling behind Malcolm Perry and the triple option attack. By rolling, I mean steam-rolling to the tune of 388 yards rushing as a team.

Tulane 49, UConn 7: The Green Wave are a fairly impressive team. They made sure to take care of business against the Huskies. If they keep winning, they're going bowling for sure.

Stars of the week

Malcolm Perry, QB, Navy: 20 carries for 218 yards and three touchdowns is an impressive line for a running back. Perry puts up those numbers as an option quarterback. I'm sure someone at the next level can find a place for him.

Jordan Cronkrite, RB, USF: Cronkrite had 26 carries for 158 yards and two touchdowns in a come from behind 27-23 win over BYU, including the game sealing score.

Rashad Medaris, WR, Cincinnati: When you torch a team for 121 yards and a touchdown on only three catches, you'll earn a spot here. Especially when you more than double your season total in yards and double your touchdown output as well.

Games to watch this week

Temple @ SMU

Tulane @ Memphis

ECU @ UCF

Players to watch this week

Shane Buechele, SMU: He's averaging 277 yards passing and two touchdowns a game. Temple will bring it, but the Mustangs are favored.

Tulane's Rushing Attack: If they're going to stay with a one in the loss column, the Green Wave will have to put up their average of about 290 yards or more.

Dillon Gabriel, UCF: If the Golden Knights are to get back to their winning ways, Gabriel will have to be the one to lead them there.

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The media has mixed feelings about the James Harden trade. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

James Harden was 100-percent exactly right earlier this week when he said the Houston Rockets were "just not good enough."

How could they be? Not when their moody superstar scorer, who makes about half a million dollars per game, shows up chubby, looking like a kielbasa about to explode in the microwave. Hey, some people eat when they're unhappy, it's a defense mechanism. In Harden's case, the only defense he's exhibited this season. At least he had a good excuse for missing pre-season training camp and alienating his teammates - he was busy partying with Cinnamon and Cherish in Atlanta and Vegas without a mask. Worst of all, he went into the tank his last four games in a Rockets uniform, standing around, arms folded, scoring fewer than 20 points each time, all Rockets losses. Fans in the front row were asking him to move, he was blocking their view of players who cared about winning. James Harden sabotaged his own team, a team that offered him $50 million a year to stay. Something that crazy could only happen in professional sports these days.

There's a saying that drives the American labor movement: "a fair day's wage for a fair day's work." It's the motto of the American Federation of Labor. The National Basketball Players Association is not a member. Harden's sulking on the court, cheating the Rockets and their fans, was unforgivable.

Harden, sitting out games while somehow being on the court, forced the Rockets to trade him - and quick - to Brooklyn. The trade, when you ignore the fine print and unindicted co-conspirators Cleveland and Indiana, sent Harden to Brooklyn in exchange for Caris LeVert (immediately flipped for Victor Oladipo), Jarrett Allen, three first-round draft picks and four swapped first-rounders. It's true, when you trade a superstar, you never get back equal value. The other team wins.

If it makes Rockets fans feel any better, the media in New York already has problems with their new problem child. I should say newest problem child. Kyrie Irving plays for the Nets.

"They (the Nets) gave up everybody! There's nothing left now. I just want to cry, It's awful," weeped WFAN Radio talk host Evan Roberts. For those who don't subscribe to weekly Arbitron ratings reports, WFAN is the most powerful, top-rated sports talk station in the Apple.

"You're leading down the road of doom. Harden and Durant could be gone in a year and a half. I'm not convinced this gives them a better chance to win a title. I'm living a nightmare again. They better freaking win."

Circle March 3 on your Rockets schedule. That's when the Brooklyn Nets, with their Big 3 of Kevin Durant, James Harden and possibly Kyrie Irving visit Toyota Center. I hear talk radio salivating over the record jeers that will cascade over Harden's name, although I'm not buying it. Fans don't think like the media does. I'm thinking that Rockets fans will welcome Harden back - one night only - with cheers.

Toyota Center public address announcer Matt Thomas: "Usually when former Rockets come to town for the first time since leaving, I give them a positive introduction. It's up to the fans how to react."

James Harden spent eight seasons with the Rockets. He is a spectacular player who watched other NBA players engineer trades so they could compete for a title. Harden didn't think the Rockets were good enough, and he's right. So he wanted out. We've all been there, a job we didn't like for a company we didn't like, for a boss we didn't respect. Harden wanting to be traded is understandable. How he went about it was deplorable. He hurt his co-workers.

Houston will make Harden pay for his disrespectful departure. He has an upscale restaurant set to open here. The name of the steakhouse will be "13." Harden's business partners may want to change that number ... before the restaurant's telephone number is disconnected. There are plenty of other restaurants in Houston. Rich people who can afford steakhouse prices hold grudges.

Rockets fans searching for a silver lining say, "We got two decent players and a whole bunch of precious first-round picks" for a malcontent who would rather be anywhere (except maybe Sacramento) than Houston." Yes, a bunch of first-round picks does bode well for the future. Anywhere, except maybe Houston.

Houston's draft war room isn't the most successful operation in the NBA. Over the past decade prior to 2000, under the direction of general manager Daryl Morey, the Rockets made 16 draft picks. Not one of them is still in a Rockets uniform, many of them have sought employment outside of America, some outside of basketball. Among their first-round whiffs: Nikola Mirotic, Terrence Jones, Sam Dekker - all out of the league. Best of all, Royce White, who played three whole games in his NBA career and finished with a scoring average of 0.00 points per game.

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