SMU sits on top of first AAC Power Rankings

HOUSTON – Undefeated Southern Methodist University sits on top of the first American Athletic Conference Power Rankings this week.

Halfway through the 2019 season most teams have been able to establish their identity. On the AP top 25 the AAC has two teams ranked, and three teams on the top 25 Coaches Poll. Only one team remains undefeated, with the hopes up being the first non-power five-conference team to make the college football playoff.

There's plenty of football remaining, so let's see which  team will be at the top by the end of the season.

Take a look at the first American Athletic Conference Power Rankings. 

1. No. 19 SMU (6-0, 2-0)
Undefeated through six games for the first time since 1982, highlighted by their win over then No. 25 ranked TCU the mustangs top this week's Power Rankings. Against Tulsa, SMU showed resolve coming back after trailing 30 to 9 after three quarters to win 43-37 in a thrilling 3-OT game. Coming off its bye week, SMU will have another big test against Temple, who's coming off of an upset win over Memphis.

SMU offense has proved to be the strength of the team, led by Texas transfer Shane Buechele. ​​Buechele leads the AAC in passing yards with 1,665 yards, averaging 277.5 per game. SMU leads the AAC in total offense as well with their averaging 290 yards per game. 

2. No. 21 Cincinnati (5-1, 2-0)
Cincinnati started conference play with a big upset win over Central Florida 27 to 24. The Bearcats were the first American Athletic Conference team to beat Central Florida in two years. Causing turnovers has been their blueprint to success through two conference games, causing nine over the last two weeks. Cincinnati will be favored in the rest of their games this season. Up next the Bearcats return home to play Tulsa. 

3. Temple (5-1, 2-0)
A week after upsetting then No. 23 ranked Memphis, Temple got love from the coaches poll ranking them No. 25. The Owls did not make the AP top 25, but they are playing with plenty of confidence, leading into their game with another ranked undefeated opponent SMU. Against Memphis, Temple was able to get off to a fast start causing 4 turnovers, 3 fumbles and 1 interception. Quarterback Anthony Russo led the way offensively completing 20 of 33 passes for 224 yards, and 2 touchdowns. Temple defense is second in the AAC in rushing defense, limiting their opponents to 126.2 yards per game. That will be a focal point as they travel to Dallas and try to stop Xavier Jones, the third leading rusher in the conference. 

4. Tulane (5-1, 2-0)
Maybe the most surprising team thus far in the AAC is Tulane. The blemish on their record came from a 24-6 lost to Auburn in the second game of the season. Since then the Green Wave have been very impressive on both sides of the ball. Ranking third in scoring offense, defense, in addition to total offense and defense Tulane looks to continue to stack up wins. Next Tulane travels to Memphis. 

5. Central Florida (4-2. 1-1)
Over the last two seasons UCF has reigned supreme in the AAC, going undefeated in conference play. Last week the Knights suffered their first  conference loss in two years, to Cincinnati. Despite the loss UCF can still make a push to play and win the conference. Their offense is still explosive, leading in scoring offense, total offense, passing offense, if they can limit their turnovers they will be able to compete with every team left on their schedule. They host East Carolina Saturday, kickoff set for 7PM. 
Rounding out the rankings

6. Navy (4-1, 2-1)
Next game vs USF (3-3, 1-1)
7. Memphis (5-1, 1-1)
Next game vs Tulane (5-1, 2-0)
8. South Florida (3-3, 1-1)
Next game vs Navy (4-1, 2-1)
9. Houston (2-4, 0-2)
Next game vs UConn (1-5, 0-3)
10. East Carolina (3-3, 0-2)
Next game vs UCF (4-2, 1-1)
11. Tulsa (2-4, 0-2)
Next game vs No. 21 Cincinnati (5-1, 2-0)
12. UConn (1-5, 0-3)
Next game vs Houston (2-4,0-2)