American Athletic Conference Weekly Rankings

American Athletic Conference Weekly Rankings

With the 2017 college football season officially underway, beat reporters from every American Athletic Conference team have come together to assemble weekly conference power rankings, a 1-12 list of the league’s best with the latest news and analysis from every team. Here’s how the group stacks up after Week 1.

1. USF (2-0): Eight quarters into the Charlie Strong era, Bulls fans still are waiting for the offense to find a rhythm. The Bulls spotted San Jose State a 16-point lead before rallying for a 42-22 win in Week Zero, and managed only seven first-half points in Saturday's lackluster 31-17 victory against FCS foe Stony Brook. Additionally, two USF punts already have been blocked (one for a TD). — Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times

2. Navy (1-0): Quarterback Zach Abey set an AAC record by rushing for 235 yards as Navy routed Florida Atlantic, 42-19. Abey became the first Navy QB to surpass 200 yards rushing and 100 yards passing in the same game. Navy hosts Tulane in the conference opener for both teams. The Midshipmen are 8-1 in home openers under head coach Ken Niumatalolo. — Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun Media Group

3. Memphis (1-0): Thanks in large part to a 99-yard kickoff return for a touchdown by Tony Pollard, the Tigers won a wet, wild and weird opener against Louisiana-Monroe on Thursday night, 37-29. Quarterback Riley Ferguson and the passing game struggled in tough conditions, but Darrell Henderson and Patrick Taylor combined for 300 rushing yards and Memphis forced four turnovers. Next up: A trip to Orlando on Friday to face UCF in another game that could be influenced by weather, as Hurricane Irma is expected to approach the Florida coast. — Tom Schad, The Commercial Appeal

4. UCF (1-0): Quarterback McKenzie Milton completed his first eight passes and UCF jumped out on FIU early on before cruising to a 61-17 win over the Golden Panthers. Milton racked up a career-high 360 passing yards and four touchdowns in just a little over two and half quarters of play. The Knights’ 587 yards of total offense were the most since 657 yards against Temple on Nov. 16, 2013. They'll host Memphis on Friday evening. — Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

5. Houston (0-0): The Cougars postponed their season opener at Texas-San Antonio after one of the most destructive storms in the nation’s history claimed more than 40 lives and left most of the Houston metropolitan area underwater. In advance of Hurricane Harvey, Houston evacuated to Austin and practiced at the University of Texas. Houston will now open the season late Saturday night at Arizona, trying to extend its current six-game winning streak against Power Five opponents. — Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle

T-6. SMU (1-0): The Mustangs handled FCS foe Stephen F. Austin with ease in a 58-14 win. SMU used three quarterbacks in the process. Sophomore Ben Hicks started and completed nine of 19 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns while Arkansas transfer Rafe Peavey completed all three of his pass attempts, including a 72-yard touchdown pass. Chad Morris expects this competition to carry over to next week against UNT. —Adam Grosbard, Dallas Morning News

T-6. Tulsa (0-1): The Hurricane had a tough assignment with its first game Thursday night at No. 10 Oklahoma State, and the Cowboys prevailed 59-24 after pouncing early with three consecutive drives in which they had a catch of at least 40 yards. With new quarterbacks Chad President and Luke Skipper tag-teaming in the first half, Tulsa had trouble answering, and its first touchdown didn't come until the second quarter from a fumble recovery on a punt return. President played the entire second half and got into a better rhythm, but coach Philip Montgomery has not announced which quarterback will get the nod for Saturday's home game against Louisiana-Lafayette. — Kelly Hines, Tulsa World

8. Temple (0-1): The Owls had a humbling start to the Geoff Collins era in a 49-16 loss at Notre Dame, allowing 606 yards of total offense. While the rookie coach suggested before the game that would use multiple quarterbacks, redshirt sophomore Logan Marchi went the distance, completing 19 of 35 passes for 245 yards two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Owls played without last year’s leading receiver Ventell Bryant, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury. Collins said on Monday that he expects Bryant to play in Saturday’s home game against Villanova. — Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer

9. Cincinnati (1-0): Luke Fickell made his Bearcats coaching debut with a 26-14 win over Austin Peay, but it was an uneven performance. UC did get three touchdown passes (no interceptions) from junior QB Hayden Moore, 100 yards rushing by RB Mike Boone and two goal-line stands. But, the Bearcats also averaged only 3.3 yards per rush and allowed 224 yards rushing. There could not be a more contrasting opponent next: Michigan, Saturday at the Big House. — Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer

10. Tulane (1-0): The Green Wave raced to a 31-0 lead against defending Southwest Athletic Conference champion Grambling and coasted to a 43-14 victory at home. Junior college transfer Jonathan Banks, a much better fit for second-year coach Willie Fritz' offense than Glen Cuiellette was a year ago, ran for 21 yards on his first carry and threw for a 30-yard touchdown on his first pass. We'll learn a lot more about the Green Wave in its conference opener at Navy this Saturday, but it appears to be significantly better than its poor preseason projections. — Guerry Smith, The New Orleans Advocate

11. Connecticut (1-0): Randy Edsall's return to the East Hartford sideline for a 27-20 opening victory over Holy Cross was his 145th game with UConn and first since the Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day 2011. The offense came to life late in the third quarter when Bryant Shirreffs, the starter much of the past two seasons, took over for a struggling David Pindell, a Junior college transfer who won the job in camp. Shirreffs led three touchdown drives to help UConn overcome a 20-7 deficit. The Huskies will face South Florida Saturday at home. — Mike Anthony, The Hartford Courant

12. East Carolina (0-1): The Pirates are regrouping from a disastrous start against James Madison, a 34-14 shelling in which the hosts were romped for 422 rush yards while producing just 80 of their own. Instead of creating a little cushion before a brutal three-game stretch that starts against West Virginia on Saturday, ECU is in a serious tailspin. Neither starting quarterback Gardner Minshew nor second-half replacement Thomas Sirk were effective, combining for three interceptions and no touchdowns, though Sirk got the nod this week as the new starter. — Nathan Summers, The Daily Reflector

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Source : http://www.capitalgazette.com/sports/navy_sports/ac-cs-aac-weekly-rankings-20170907-story.html

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