AAC Football has presented themselves as part of the Power 6, but the Power 5 conference have laughed. Have they proven their case early on in 2018?
The American Athletic Conference, also known as the AAC, has been promoting itself as a Power 6 conference for a couple of seasons. Never has the AAC argument for a College Football Playoff spot been more valid than after Week 3 of the 2018 college football season.
In Week 1, the AAC saw their bell cow the UCF Knights defend their national championship with a win over UConn. Also during Week 1, Cincinnati knocked off the Pac-12’s UCLA, Tulane took the ACC’s Wake Forest to overtime in a losing effort, and Navy put up a great fight against Hawaii scoring 41 in a shootout.
In Week 2, UCF continued their undefeated streak dating back to the 2017 season while some major conference programs were upset by American squads. Houston knocked off the Pac-12’s Arizona, USF beat the ACC’s Georgia Tech, and ECU dominated in-state rival and ACC program UNC. Moral victories came in Week 2 as Tulsa gave a scare to the Big 12’s Texas Longhorns and Memphis and Navy played a classic with the Midshipmen beating the Tigers 22-21.
In Week 3, Memphis put up 59 points in a showcase Friday night game. The struggling Temple Owls beat the Big Ten’s Maryland Terps, the USF Bulls knocked off the Big Ten’s Illini, while Navy and Cincinnati put up big numbers in their Week 3 victories. The Houston Cougars lost in a shootout against Texas Tech but looked good in the loss.
The AAC isn’t just about good wins, but also star power. Houston’s Ed Oliver, UCF’s McKenzie Milton, Memphis Tigers duo Brady White and Darrell Henderson and Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry are all becoming or have been household names across the country. The AAC will have other chances to show they belong as a Power 6 with UCF facing Pitt on Sep. 29 and Navy facing Notre Dame on October 27th still to come.