American Athletic Conference NCAA

Where the University of Cincinnati Bearcats stand in American Athletic Conference rankings


Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer Published 10:25 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2018 | Updated 10:53 a.m. ET Oct. 4, 2018

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Luke Fickell discusses why the UC Bearcats’ defense is so much improved in 2018, with the No. 2 scoring defense in America. Cincinnati Enquirer

Entering the season’s midway point, this week’s University of Cincinnati Bearcats football opponent made the biggest jump in the weekly American Athletic Conference power rankings.

Tulane, which visits UC on Saturday at noon, jumped five spots to No. 5 after a dominating 40-24 win over Memphis, It’s the Green Wave’s highest ranking in the three-year history of the AAC power rankings, compiled by beat reporters from conference schools.

UC (5-0, 1-0 AAC East) held steady at No. 4 this week. The rankings:

1. UCF

  • Previous ranking: 1 | Points: 143
  • Record: 4-0 (1-0 AAC) 
  • Last week: defeated Pittsburgh, 45-14
  • This week: vs. SMU
  • Trajectory: Surging. Quarterback McKenzie Milton combined for six total touchdowns for the second consecutive week as UCF extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 17 games, both a school and conference record. 

– Matt Murschel, Orlando Sentinel

2. USF 

Previous ranking: 2 | Points: 129

  • Record: 4-0 (1-0 AAC)
  • Last week: Open date
  • This week: at UMass
  • Trajectory: Steady. The Bulls, who had three tailbacks in street clothes two Saturdays ago against East Carolina, should enter New England healthier after a bye week. They’ve struggled in the first half of their last two games.

– Joey Knight, Tampa Bay Times

3. Houston

  • Previous ranking: 3 | Points: 119
  • Record: 3-1 (0-0 AAC) 
  • Last week: Open date
  • This week: vs. Tulsa (Thursday)
  • Trajectory: Steady. Houston opens AAC play with two of its main West division challengers, Navy (1-1) and defending champion Memphis (0-2). Don’t think the Cougars have forgotten the 45-17 spanking Tulsa put on them last season.

– Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle

4. Cincinnati

  • Previous ranking: 4 | Points: 113
  • Record: 5-0 (1-0 AAC)
  • Last week: defeated UConn, 49-7 
  • This week: vs. Tulane
  • Trajectory: Surging. Redshirt freshman QB Desmond Ridder completed 20 of 26 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns vs. Connecticut. UC outgained UConn 659-266 in total yardage. The Bearcats have held three of their opponents to seven points or less.

– Tom Groeschen, Cincinnati Enquirer

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Cincinnati cheerleaders cheer for the crowd along Clifton Avenue as they march during University of Cincinnati Homecoming parade on October 14, 2011.Cathy Barnes of White Oak shows her school spirit during University of Cincinnati Homecoming parade on October 14, 2011.The Bearcat mascot pumps up the fans lined up along Clifton Avenue Saturday afternoon during the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade October 24, 2015.Members of the Northwest High School band perform in the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade on October 24, 2009.Breana Roth, a 2004 Colerain High School honors graduate, was a candidate for the University of Cincinnati homecoming court in 2008.Members of the Northwest High School Marching Band participate  in the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade on October 30, 2010.The Withrow High School Marching Tigers participate in the annual University of Cincinnati homecoming parade, marching down Clifton Avenue on October 19, 2013.Nick Rizzo, 5, left, and his brother Jack, 8,  of Anderson wait for the candy toss during the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade on October 30, 2010.The Fairfield High School Band marches along Clifton Avenue Saturday afternoon during the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade October 24, 2015.Themed football floats ride along Clifton Avenue Saturday afternoon during the University of Cincinnati Homecoming Parade October 24, 2015.

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5. Tulane

  • Previous ranking: 10| Points: 84
  • Record: 2-3 (1-0 AAC)
  • Last Week: defeated Memphis, 40-24
  • This Week: at Cincinnati
  • Trajectory: Surging. In its best performance of Willie Fritz’s three-year tenure, Tulane held Memphis to its lowest yardage total (277) since 2015. Translating that performance on the road against undefeated Cincinnati will be tricky.

– Guerry Smith, The New Orleans Advocate 

6. Navy

  • Previous ranking: 6 | Points: 83
  • Record: 2-2 (1-1 AAC)
  • Last week: Open date
  • This week: at Air Force
  • Trajectory: Steady. Navy’s first bye of the season came at an opportune time, as numerous players were banged up. Starting quarterback Malcolm Perry suffered a slight concussion during the loss to Southern Methodist but was cleared to resume practice last week. 

– Bill Wagner, Baltimore Sun Media Group

7. Temple

  • Previous ranking: 7 | Points: 67
  • Record: 2-3 (1-0 AAC)
  • Last week: lost to Boston College, 45-35
  • This week: vs. ECU
  • Trajectory: Skidding. After trailing by 17 points in the first part of the third quarter, Temple got to within 38-35 in the fourth quarter but couldn’t close the gap. The Owls had no sacks and allowed a season-high 275 yards rushing. 

– Marc Narducci, Philadelphia Inquirer/Daily News

8. Southern Methodist

  • Previous ranking: 8 | Points: 66
  • Record: 2-3 (1-0 AAC) 
  • Last week: defeated Houston Baptist, 63-27.
  • This week: at UCF
  • Trajectory: Surging. The Mustangs face a third top-20 team this season in No. 12 UCF. SMU is hoping to get back three members of the secondary from injuries – safety Patrick Nelson and cornerbacks Cole Sterns and Eric Sutton.

– Joseph Duarte, Houston Chronicle

9. Memphis 

  • Previous ranking: 5 | Points: 56
  • Record: 3-2 (0-2 AAC) 
  • Last week: lost to Tulane, 40-24
  • This week: vs UConn
  • Trajectory: Skidding. Little went right for Memphis in its first loss to Tulane since 2000. The offense only managed 277 total yards, Darrell Henderson scored twice but was held to 51 rushing yards and the defense allowed Tulane to rush for 318 yards.

– Evan Barnes, The Commercial Appeal

10. East Carolina

  • Previous ranking: 9 | Points: 38
  • Record: 2-2 (0-1 AAC)
  • Last week: defeated Old Dominion, 37-35.
  • This week: at Temple
  • Trajectory: Steady. The Pirates are on the verge of surging, which would happen if they get a rare win at Temple. The Owls have won four straight in the series. ECU’s two victories this year are against North Carolina (1-3 record) and Old Dominion (1-4).

– Ronnie Woodward, Greenville (N.C.) Daily Reflector

11. Tulsa

  • Previous ranking: 11 | Points: 24
  • Record: 1-3 (0-1 AAC)
  • Last week: Open date
  • This week: at Houston (Thursday)
  • Trajectory: Steady. The Hurricane used the open date to re-examine the quarterback situation, opening the competition up again following Luke Skipper’s five-turnover outing at Temple. A frontrunner this time around is Seth Boomer, a redshirt freshman.

– Kelly Hines, Tulsa World

12. Connecticut 

  • Previous ranking: 12 | Points: 12
  • Record: 1-4 (0-2 AAC) 
  • Last week: lost to Cincinnati, 49-7
  • This week: at Memphis
  • Trajectory: Skidding. Just when you think things can’t get uglier for UConn, the Huskies go and lose by six touchdowns in a game that some observers thought could be close. UConn has been outscored 218-52 by FBS opponents.

– Alex Putterman, Hartford Courant

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