A Look At The AAC

The UH/AAC Report: Coogs run out of gas vs UCF, plus a couple close calls for ranked teams

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Week 10 in the AAC was a slate of only five games long. There was still enough meat on the bone to digest. College football is too interesting to say five games was no fun to watch or track in a conference as exciting as the AAC. Let's take a look at the week that was:

UH falls to UCF 44-29

The Coogs actually led the once ranked Golden Knights after the 1st quarter (17-14) and at the half (23-21). However, the 3rd quarter came in like a South Texas cold front and dramatically changed the weather. After trading punts on their initial possessions of the 3rd, UH went on to trade three punts for touchdowns and ended up down 19 points heading into the 4th. Things didn't get much better for the Coogs as they only managed to put up six more points on a late touchdown and failed two point conversion. There is a bright side. The Coogs "held" the Golden Knights to under 500 yards of offense (468), won the time of possession battle (41:31 to 18:29), and tied in turnovers with one a piece. It comes down to execution on offense and limiting the big plays on defense. They gave up seven plays of 20 yards or more. Speculation from a national media member this week said D'Eriq King would enter the Transfer Portal and won't return to UH. ESPN 97.5's John Granato explained on "Granato and Raheel With Del" (hour one right at the 28:55 mark) that Coach Dana Holgorsen said King is enjoying playing football again, is running scout team right now, and will be back next year. I trust this info because of their close relationship over the course of about 10 years plus, whereas this national media member is a Herman Honk who wants to keep his all-access in Austin.

Other Key Results

#24 Memphis 54, #15 SMU 48: The final score was closer than the game appeared. From the eye test, Memphis was clearly the better, more prepared team that also adjusted quicker. SMU seemed to be caught off guard early, and gathered themselves too late. Both are still ranked as they should be.

#17 Cincinnati 46, ECU 43: Trailing 40-28, the Bearcats were in danger of losing to the Pirates. They managed a furious comeback along with a game winning field goal as time expired. Despite the win, they dropped to #20 in the rankings.

Navy 56, UConn 10: Jermaine, why in the world is THIS a key result? Because it catapulted the Midshipmen to #24 in the rankings this week. The 7-1 Navy team's lone loss is to the now #21 ranked Memphis Tigers.

Stars of the Week

Navy Offense: The Midshipmen ran the ball 51 times for 408 yards and seven touchdowns. Six guys carried the ball at least three times and averaged at least 6.8 yards per carry. The triple option is like a dinosaur that has found a way to survive and thrive.

Shane Buechele, QB, SMU: Buechele went 34/54 for 456 yards and three touchdowns in a losing effort. What's scary is that he still has another year of eligibility left.

Cincinnati Offense: RB Michael Warren II had 18 carries for 141 yards and three touchdowns; quarterback Desmond Ridder had 12 carries for 121 yards; and RB Gerrid Doaks had nine carries for 39 yards and a touchdown. Remember what I said earlier about them being down by 12 heading into the 4th, and this stat line is that much more impressive.

Games to Watch This Week

Temple @ USF

UCF @ Tulsa

ECU @ #25 SMU

UConn @ #20 Cincinnati

Players to Watch This Week

Xavier Jones, SMU: Look for Jones to pad his stats against an ECU team that gives up an average of 204.3 yards per game on the ground.

Cincinnati Offense: The Huskies just gave up 408 yards rushing against the Midshipmen. The Bearcats aren't as profficient running the ball, but they did hang 301 yards rushing on ECU.

Gabriel Davis, UCF: At 6'3 212lbs, Davis is a big body receiver averaging 18.2 yards per reception this season. Tulsa only has two sub 6' defensive backs (5'9 and 5'11). It'll be an interesting matchup for the pro prospect.

Tim Warner/Getty Images

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12. RICE

They did it, they actually did it! They beat someone, a Division I program at that, and even better an in conference rival. This is great news for the Rice Owls, and just as much for Mike Bloomgren who has to feel a massive weight come off his shoulders for getting a win this year. He needs one more to tie last year's win record and two more with two games left to show progress. Wow this program has a long way to go, remember a few years back when they were conference champs with 10 wins? I know it was a while back now but man, this program is thrilled to a get a win right now and there was a time not too long ago when they were one of the better teams in this conference. They host The Mean Green this week and they need to win out if they want to show growth from last year.

11. UTEP


UTEP lost to the UAB Blazers and now are on the road to New Mexico State University. Rice won so the pressure is officially on. Previously a loss to Rice next week meant only a tie for worst team in Texas but now a loss would actually make The Miners the 12th worst team in Texas. Someone please have some pride and play to win that game next week. And this week too, please, seriously.

10. NORTH TEXAS

If there was ever a team to have on the schedule post a bad loss then a bye week on a schedule it would be Rice University, right? You would take Rice as one of the worst teams in the country this year and you'd say yes right away if someone offered you them on a silver platter. Like if the waiter brought the wrong dish to your table but it looked better is how excited you would be to see Rice on the schedule after the last few weeks, EXCEPT, Rice just won their first game of the year and may be feeling themselves a little bit.

9. TEXAS STATE

Troy crushing Texas State is a massive blow to the season for The Bobcats. It probably isn't going to get much better as they face Appalachian State Mountaineers who are ranked No. 24 right now and are looking to keep on winning. All of the losing is why they dropped down to ninth place and there's probably going to be a little more dropping before it's all said and done.

8. UTSA

The Roadrunners need to stay focused and just keep an eye on the goal of finishing strong and not quitting on this year. Florida Atlantic comes to town and they are looking to rub salt into any wounds UTSA brings into this game.

7. TEXAS TECH

In a stunning loss to TCU, Texas Tech was yet again close to winning a big game but this time late in the fourth quarter gave up the lead. This will be the season that got away and should be both a statement of perseverance and "almost." Football is a game of inches and Al Pacino speeches and this is just another example of that. Imagine the scenario where Tech won those close games Baylor, Kansas and TCU, where would they be both nationally and here on this list? Tough to say. Kansas State comes to town and the close calls are likely to continue.

6. HOUSTON

Memphis put a hurting on Houston and it was a bad one. Memphis came to town and did what a lot of teams have done this year, punched Houston in the mouth and they failed to respond in any real way. The losses are piling up and now Houston is going on the road to visit the Tulsa Golden Hurricanes. They are likely to lose this game being on the road against a team that's about as good as they are, so The Cougars are struggling.

5. TCU

A close win is better than a close loss and TCU came out of Lubbock with a close win. With three different loss differentials being a touchdown or less, TCU's whole season much like Tech's will be measured by the close losses rather than the wins. But you can't go backwards and TCU has to travel to Oklahoma and find a way to win if they want to stay bowl eligible.

4. TEXAS

Texas is now officially in trouble. They've lost all kinds of games they shouldn't have and now are going to Baylor after losing to Iowa State University. It's hard to imagine a scenario where this team pulls it together and actually beats Baylor, but they need to. They need to get it together and start playing good football or they'll go into next weekend.

3. TEXAS A&M

Coming off a great win against South Carolina, Texas A&M now tries its hat in the role of spoiler as they travel to Georgia and try and ruin the Bulldogs season. Ultimately there's a real chance they could pull off a sneaky win here and derail Georgia's shot at an SEC championship game but it isn't the best bet in the world. A&M has struggled this year in big games having lost to Clemson, Alabama and Auburn.

2. SMU

The Mustangs were in the stables this week with a bye but it gave the President of the AAC time to complain that the College Football Playoff Selection Committee has undervalued his entire conference since it was created. He's right, they have been undervalued but not by enough to whine about it and not by enough to actually make a stink. A few weeks ago I was feeling bad about having A&M as low as I did because yes they were losing but they were playing better teams and I looked up all the rankings, strengths of schedules etc. The fact is simply this, SMU doesn't play the kind of competition that A&M did and even though they were winning, they weren't beating anyone of merit. They still haven't and there's no getting around that really. However this week they go to Navy and they need to win to even stay ranked.

1. BAYLOR

They had been playing close games and coming out on top and usually that makes a team happy to get a big lead, and usually a team that's been winning and gets a big lead knows what to do with it and usually a team in a must win knows they can't mess up. All of that being said, they were up early, they were up big and they blew it. There's no getting around it, this kills any chance of back dooring the playoffs, with wins over Oklahoma and then hypothetically beating Texas this week would have made Baylor a real force with only a few weeks left on the whole thing. Instead they let Oklahoma post a record comeback and then when it's all said and done they have Texas this week. The season is slipping through their fingers like sand in an hourglass.

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