AAC Football was back in action this weekend. Here’s the latest from the teams on the gridiron in Week 12.
|Team||Record||This Week||Result||Up Next|
|Charlotte||3-8 (2-5)||vs Rice||L, 28-7||at USF|
|ECU||2-9 (1-6)||at Navy||L, 10-0||vs Tulsa|
|FAU||4-7 (2-5)||vs Tulane||L, 24-8||at Rice|
|Memphis||8-3 (5-2)||vs SMU||L, 38-34||at Temple (Fri)|
|Navy||5-5 (4-3)||vs ECU||W, 10-0||at SMU|
|North Texas||4-7 (2-5)||at Tulsa||W, 35-28||vs UAB|
|Rice||5-6 (3-4)||at Charlotte||W, 28-7||vs FAU|
|SMU||9-2 (7-0)||at Memphis||W, 38-34||vs Navy|
|Temple||3-8 (1-6)||at UAB||L, 34-24||vs Memphis (Fri)|
|Tulane||10-1 (7-0)||at FAU||W, 24-8||vs UTSA (Fri)|
|Tulsa||3-8 (1-6)||vs North Texas||L, 35-28||at ECU|
|UAB||4-7 (3-4)||vs Temple||W, 34-24||at North Texas|
|USF||5-6 (3-4)||at UTSA||L, 49-21||vs Charlotte|
|UTSA||8-3 (7-0)||vs USF||W, 49-21||at Tulane (Fri)|
Notable Results (Standings)
And then there were three
SMU’s win over Memphis on Saturday afternoon kicked the Tigers out of the conference championship discussion. There are only three undefeated teams remaining, a testament to the strength of those three (UTSA, SMU and Tulane) and a condemnation to some degree with the AAC regular season scheduling. We were robbed of some good football games because of how little these teams crossed over this year.
FAU joined the seven-loss crowd this weekend, falling to Tulane. Things looked pretty dire for the Owls when quarterback Casey Thompson was hurt early on this season. To make it to mid-November with the possibility of postseason play on the table is a minor accomplishment in itself, although folks in Boca understandably want more after some great years in recent memory.
Modest middle tier
Are there any mediocre to good teams in this conference? Of the 14 members, just five are within a game of .500 after this weekend. We’ve talked about the cream of the crop, and we’ve talked about the bottom dwellers. Shout out to Navy, Rice and USF who remain in the hunt for bowl eligibility and have proven to be tough outs at the very least in league play.
Looking ahead – Key storylines
Win and you’re in
Tulane and UTSA meet in one of the marquee games of the final weekend of regular season play. Make sure your TVs are tuned in on Black Friday in this defact semi-final game with the rights to a conference title game appearance on the line. In all likelihood, the winner will take on SMU, who needs to get past Navy to guarantee themselves an appearance.
Ahead of schedule?
In the first year under new head coaches, neither USF nor Navy was expected to make much noise in the AAC this season. Both had exciting moments and pushed some the conference heavyweights to the wire. But most importantly, they each have a surprise chance at bowl eligibility. It’ll be a tough ask for Navy against SMU, but USF hosts a bad Charlotte team. That seems very doable for the Bulls.
Running it back at Rice
Rice coach Mike Bloomgren has the chance to become just the third coach in program history to take his team to back-to-back bowl games next weekend should the Owls beat FAU at home. For someone who entered the AAC in the sixth year of his tenure with some pressure from a new AD, that would be huge.
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