Houston - Believe it or not, the Cougars are still undefeated. They dispatched Memphis a week ago to improve to 5-0 on the season, but it wasn’t pretty. Their top 50 rushing attack was held to a woeful 38 yards on 29 carries. It’s a good thing they have a solid passing game and defense to fall back on. Houston hits a rough patch now, though, with BYU, Rutgers and road trips to UCF and Louisville in four out of the next five weeks. This stretch will show just how real the Cougars are. Week seven grade: B-
Louisville - This is a pretty easy choice here. Louisville is ranked in the top-10, undefeated and coming off a 14-point victory over the Cardinals’ toughest opponent to date. They have another tough one on Friday night against UCF. If Louisville does go undefeated, it will be interesting to see how the BCS standings affect this club. Week seven grade: B+
UCF - Idle
Cincinnati – The Bearcats recorded a nice bounce-back win over an awful Temple squad, but this team just hasn’t been the same since injuries thrust Brandon Kay into the starting role. There have also been several other distractions, including the heartbreaking death of a teammate. Cincy is undoubtedly one of the most talented teams in the league, but can they put that to use week-in and week-out? So far, the Bearcats have struggled to string together good performances. Week seven grade: A
Rutgers - Much like Cincy, this is one of the stronger teams in the league, but they have really struggled as of late. Their 1-1 league mark is strange since they needed overtime to finish off a reeling SMU team. About the only thing that is consistent is that their defense is hemorrhaging yards and points. Even Rutgers’ tight game with Louisville is a mirage. The defense gave up nearly 500 yards. Ruh-roh. Week seven grade: D+
USF - Well isn’t this a strange sight: the Bulls with a winning streak and rising. Thanks to stunning Cincinnati and taking care of the train-wreck that is Connecticut, they are 2-0 in league and have moved to, well, 2-4 overall. I’m not sure what is going on in Tampa, but Willie Taggert is a highly regarded coach. Maybe the Bulls are starting to work things out. Well, at least defensively they are as they have given up 15 ppg in league play versus a mind-boggling 37.8 in the 0-4 start. I’m leaning sell, but this league is pretty awful – who’s to say USF can’t catch lightning in a bottle and win six AAC games to sneak into a bowl? Week seven grade: D+
Connecticut - It is really hard to lose a game giving up zero offensive touchdowns and a scant 228 yards of offense, but the Huskies did just that against USF. The main culprit: the 44 yard fumble return for six. Brutal game, brutal team to watch, brutal season for the fans. It is hard to see the way out right now. Week seven grade: F
SMU - Idle
Memphis - This rebuilding project has been years in the making and the Tigers were just becoming competitive in C-USA. Now they are expected to compete in a beefed up league. Oh, wait, they haven’t played any Big East holdovers and have only lost to previous C-USA teams? Oooooh boy, not looking good. Week seven grade: D-
Temple - Winless and a loss to Idaho? This is the worst FCS AQ team in the nation. Silver lining, AQ won’t exist next season and the AAC fades into the “group of everyone that big money doesn’t care about,” so this “oh-for” start will go mostly unnoticed. Week seven grade: F
Buy That Kid Dinner (if the NCAA allowed it)
Brandon Kay (QB, Cincinnati) - A very efficient 31-of-37, 270 yards, 7.3 avg, 2 TD, 0 INT, 89.0 QBR
Calvin Pryor (S, Louisville) - Usually not a recipe for success when a safety has 14 tackles (11 solo), but when you only give up 10 points, it can’t be all bad. Pryor also had a TFL and one of his team’s four interceptions as they bewildered a good Rutgers team.
Marvin Kloss (K, USF) - In a day when (okay season) the Bulls have struggled to score, Kloss put through both his FG attempts, as his foot accounted for 7 out of 13 points in a 10 point win.
–Shout out to USF’s punter Mattias Clabatti and Houston P/K Richie Leone, who also had big days for their winning teams.
Dunce of the Week
A pretty clean week for the AAC in terms of coaching, officiating and anything else that gets placed in the DotW section, but something to keep an eye on is the historic nature of the bottom of this league. UConn and Temple are both winless. SMU and Memphis both have one win a piece. What’s worse is SMU’s lone win was over an FCS squad. That means these four are a combined 1-19 against FBS level competition. We’ve seen bad leagues before. We’ve seen bad power/AQ leagues before. This is something rare. The good thing is all four teams play each other, meaning at most there can only be one winless team. More than likely all will end with two or three wins by the end. Despite that, I can’t remember the last time a league’s basement was this deep and this densely populated.