2019 AAC Football Boilerplate on the Hourglass - records, projections and more
If there was in fact a Power SIX in college football, the AAC would be the sixth one and some might argue over the last few years, top to bottom, the AAC has been better than the PAC12 or BIG12.
What the AAC has done on the football field and the quality of play has been nothing short of amazing. Chaired by it’s bell cow, Central Florida, the AAC has put together really good teams, coaching, quarterbacks and have a new television deal to prove it.
2019 should be another great year in the AAC, but the tea leaves tell us things might be changing in the league as far as the top dog or two.
AAC Power Rankings:
Our 2019 power rankings doesn’t have Central Florida on top, it has Memphis, then new head football coach Dana Holgerson and the Houston Cougars. We will get into all the criteria below; and while this has been the UCF league for a while - things are changing as teams like Cincinnati and South Florida making moves in the right direction.
This is the year of the Memphis Tiger and while the Tigers lost several key pieces to the NFL Draft, this club is poised to have a monster year in and out of the league.
Central Florida still has the most talent in the league, but it’s not by much. The Knights are the king of the AAC talent kingdom, but Cincinnati has recruited at a high level in this conference the last three years and they showed that last year with a great year. Again, Memphis, South Florida and Houston area all right there in that 2-5 slot on our talent index and all of these teams have a chance to win a lot of games in 2019. While Navy doesn’t have the best talent or even Tulane - both teams have shown they know how to take the talent they have and win some ball games on Saturday’s in the fall.
If you are looking for a Group of Five Heisman Trohphy contender, it’s Houston’s D’eriq King and by all accounts he is almost fully healthy after a season ending injury a year ago. This is great news for Holgerson and Houston as they expect big things out of the Cougars in 2019.
Brady White is back for Memphis as is Desmond Ridder at Cincinnati and both guys are flat gamers who can make plays on almost anyone.
Brandon Wimbush looks to be the guy at Central Florida after transferring in from Notre Dame, but people we have talked to down on that campus tell us he has looked just “average” this spring.
The rest of the league has average quarterback numbers, but we may see one of these guys emerge as a star this fall.
Josh Heupel rode the waves as UCF’s first year head coach and did a great job doing so, but this is Mike Norvell’s league now and his time. Norvell has some baggage off the field, but this man is a football coach in the best of ways.
Many hope Dana Holgerson can turn Houston into what many people feel Houston can be and that’s the best G5 program in the country and he gets to start that transformation this year. Charlie Strong needs a big year down at USF and Luke Fickell has the toughest schedule in the conference at Cincinnati, but the Bearcats should be able to ride that wave.
Ken Niumatalolo had a setback 2018 at Navy, but looks to bounce back in 2019 and East Carolina and Temple welcome new head coaches in Mike Houston and Rod Carey.
Year of the Tiger:
Year four of the Mike Norvell campaign kicks off with a huge game one at home against rival Ole Miss. This game can set the stage for a massive 2019 and fourth year for his tenor as the head coach in that town. Norvell has won 26 games in three seasons, has a great roster back and a seasoned quarterback.
While UCF, Houston and Cincinnati will have a say in who wins the AAC this year and while UCF is the champ until someone knocks them off, our analytics say Memphis is the team to beat, will win the conference and have a monster year starting game one - knocking off Ole Miss.
Editors Note: All Photos courtesy of 247sports.com