Tulane is a year removed from beating USC in the Cotton Bowl. While the Green Wave have managed to continue playing at a high level in 2023, a new team is at the top of my AAC rankings.
And there’s still three teams which could compete for the American Athletic Conference Championship in 2023. Here’s a ranking of every team in the AAC, their records, and predictions for AAC games this week.
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AAC Rankings And Records
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1. SMU (9-2)
SMU has the best scoring offense (40.3 points per game) and best scoring defense (18 points per game allowed) in the AAC right now. Despite the Mustangs having two losses, they are No. 1 on this list.
SMU has dominated during its recent seven-game winning streak. It defeated Temple 55-0 and Tulsa 69-10, for example.
Especially after their victory over Memphis last week, the Mustangs are one of the best G5 teams in the country.
2. Tulane (10-1)
Tulane is the only AAC team ranked in the AP Top 25. But the Green Wave have struggled in the past couple weeks, which is why they’re at No. 2.
Despite missing star quarterback Michael Pratt for a short while, the Green Wave are 10-1 with their only loss being to Ole Miss. They’ve won nine straight since then, including a convincing 10-point triumph over Memphis.
Tulane also has the second-best scoring defense in the AAC with 18.5 points per game allowed. The Green Wave still have a good shot of reaching the conference championship.
3. UTSA (8-3)
UTSA, along with SMU and Tulane, is one of the few teams which has a 7-0 record in AAC play. But the Roadrunners dealt with a good number of challenges early when starting quarterback Frank Harris was missing some time.
That said, UTSA has won its last seven games against Temple, UAB, FAU, East Carolina, North Texas, Rice, and USF with six of those contests being decided by 14 points or more. That’s not easy to do in a league like the AAC.
The Roadrunners still have yet to play Tulane, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they give the Green Wave some issues in that matchup.
4. Memphis (8-3)
Memphis has suffered a couple tough losses, but the Tigers also have some good wins on their resume.
They defeated Boise State at home and recently won against USF 59-50. They lost to Missouri by just seven points and fell against Tulane and SMU.
With Seth Henigan at quarterback, the Tigers will have a chance to win any game. They have the second-best scoring offense in the AAC with 39.2 points per game scored, and that unit should be able to help them finish the year strong.
5. USF (5-6)
Led by quarterback Byrum Brown, USF’s offense has been playing pretty well recently. The Bulls just beat Temple a couple weeks ago and lost 59-50 the week before against Memphis.
USF has been inconsistent, having lost to UAB 56-35 and FAU 56-14 in back-to-back games earlier this season. But the Bulls have won two of their last four and have a good chance to earn bowl-eligibility this week.
Best Of The Rest
6. Rice (5-6)
7. Navy (5-5)
8. UAB (4-7)
9. FAU (4-7)
10. North Texas (4-7)
11. East Carolina (2-9)
12. Charlotte (3-8)
13. Tulsa (3-8)
14. Temple (3-8)
UTSA vs. Tulane Prediction
I’m picking Tulane to win and cover the spread at -3.5. I also am predicting the game will go Under 52 total points.
In a game with this much at stake, I think it’ll end up being a low-scoring contest. The Green Wave and Roadrunners are both in the top five in the AAC in terms of scoring defense, as they both allow less than 25 points per game.
But if that does happen, I think Tulane will have the advantage at home. The Green Wave could end up in a New Year’s Six bowl once again, and I think they have the talent to get there.
Navy vs. SMU Prediction
I’m picking SMU to win and cover the spread at -18.5. I also am predicting the game will go Over 45.5 total points.
SMU has won its last seven games, and most of those contests have been decided by 20 points or more. Meanwhile, Navy just beat East Carolina, which has a losing record, 10-0 at home.
With a chance to go to the AAC Championship, I think SMU will gain an early lead and won’t look back. Navy’s triple-option offense might have a tough time coming back if the Mustangs do go up by a few touchdowns early as they have multiple times in recent weeks.
Memphis vs. Temple Prediction
I’m picking Memphis to win and cover the spread at -13. I also am predicting the game will go Over 64 total points.
Memphis has the second-highest scoring offense in the AAC at 39.2 points per game, and Temple’s offense hasn’t been bad either at certain points in the season. I could see this being a competitive and high-scoring contest early on.
But I also believe that the Tigers’ defense will respond in the second half, especially after allowing SMU to score 38 points a week ago. I think Memphis will end up winning by about 17 points.
FAU vs. Rice Prediction
I’m picking Rice to win and cover the spread at -4. I also am predicting the game will go Under 48.5 points.
Tulsa vs. East Carolina Prediction
I’m picking East Carolina to win and cover the spread at -3. I also am predicting the game will go Under 44.5 total points.
UAB vs. North Texas Prediction
I’m picking UAB to win and cover the spread at +3. I also am predicting the game will go Under 73.5 points.
Charlotte vs. USF Prediction
I’m picking USF to win and cover the spread at -6. I also am predicting the game will go Under 57 total points.