After week two, the top half didn’t move, but we had a little rearranging on the bottom half. It continues to be a rough start for the American Athletic Conference.
1. #8 Cincinnati Bearcats (2-0) (LW: 1) - W vs. Murray State 42-7
It took way longer than it should have, but Cincinnati was able to pull away for what looks like to be a lopsided win over Murray State. The Bearcats failed to cover the 36.5 point spread or hit the over, which was largely due to the game being tied at seven at halftime. Murray State threw three first-half interceptions and the Bearcats were only able to convert one of them into points. They will need to find their week one magic again. Next at Indiana (1-1).
2. UCF Knights (2-0) (LW: 2) - W vs. Bethune-Cookman 63-14
UCF did what you’re supposed to do against an outmatched FCS team: Build a big lead and let the reserves do the rest. The Knights put up 671 yards and no turnovers against in a clean offense game. The offense went a whopping 4/4 on fourth down. BCU going 7/15 on third down is a note of concern as the defense could not get off the field. The gap between UCF and Cincinnati is closing. Next at Louisville (1-1)
3. Tulane Green Wave (1-1) (LW: 3) - W vs. Morgan State 69-20
Tulane opened up with the first 45 points of the game and never looked back. They ended up covering the 47.5 point spread. The Green Wave only had to punt once, but throwing two interceptions is a bit concerning. Next at Ole Miss (2-0).
4. SMU Mustangs (2-0) (LW: 4) - W vs. North Texas 35-12
After a sluggish first half, the Mustangs pulled away, scoring 21 unanswered points to put North Texas away. SMU’s four turnovers kept North Texas in the game longer than they should have. The Mean Green had five fumbles during the game and recovered every one of them. Next at Louisiana Tech (1-1).
5. Memphis Tigers (2-0) (LW: 5) - W at Arkansas State 55-50
Defense need not apply here as both Memphis and Arkansas State each put up 680 yards of offense. The wild part is they still punted a combined 12 times while scoring 105 points. The Red Wolves used two quarterbacks and each threw for at least 276 yards. This game felt like Tecmo Bowl as Memphis had six scoring plays of 40 or more yards while Arkansas State added a couple more. Next vs Mississippi State (2-0)
6. Houston Cougars (1-1) (LW: 7) - W at Rice 44-7
Getting a Big 12 invite must have invigorated the Cougars...or they played Rice. The transfer-happy Luke McCaffrey led Owls put up little fight against Houston on both sides of the ball. The Cougars still have work to do and have an opportunity to work on it next week. Next vs. Grambling State (1-1).
7. East Carolina Pirates (0-2) (LW: 6) - L vs. South Carolina 20-17
East Carolina was locked in a close one with the Fighting Zeb Norlands, even taking a fourth quarter lead. The Gamecocks were able to hit a pair of field goals, including a 36-yarder as time expired to win the game. Neither team looked exceptionally great as the two combined for 16 punts. Next at Marshall (2-0)
8. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (0-2) (LW: 9) L at Oklahoma State 28-23
Tulsa made up some ground despite losing again. After an inexplicable loss to UC-Davis in week one, the Golden Hurricane nearly stole a win against Oklahoma State. Tulsa had the lead early in the fourth quarter before LD Brown returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown. Tulsa had a chance to recover an onside kick, but it was not meant to be. Next at Ohio State (1-1).
9. Temple Owls (1-1) (LW: 10) - W at Akron 45-24
Akron isn’t a good team. That’s perfect for a team like Temple who had a rough start. The Owls played a clean game to help give them their first win of the season. Next vs Boston College(2-0).
10. South Florida Bulls (0-2) (LW: 11) - L vs. Florida 42-20
Despite a terrible start that yielded a 35-3 halftime deficit, the Bulls were able to show signs of life in the second half, outscoring the Gators 17-7 and beating the spread. The Bulls’ offense is still a mess and they allowed Gator backup quarterback Anthony Richardson to put up video game numbers (3/3 for 152 yards and 2 TD passing and 4 carries for 115 yards and a TD). Next vs Florida A&M (1-1).
11. Navy Midshipmen (0-2) (LW: 8) - L vs. Air Force 23-3
The wheels have already fallen off at Navy. After another pasting, they have parted with longtime offensive coordinator Ivin Jasper. The Midshipmen looked lifeless against Air Force after looking lifeless against Marshall the week prior. With less than 170 yards of offense in two games, something has to give and the 14-year OC got the boot. They get the next week to sit and think about how bad things are. Next: Bye week