American Athletic Conference Team Season Grades: East
2019 Team Season Grades
ACC Atlantic | Coastal
AAC East | West | Big Ten East | West
Big 12 | C-USA East | West
Independents | MAC East | West
MW Mountain | West | Pac-12 North | South
SEC East | West | Sun Belt East | West
American Athletic Conference Season Grade: A-
UConn was dead weight, Houston was weird, and USF was a disappointment, but Tulsa was interesting for being 4-8, and East Carolina came up with a few fun games. The key was the top, with five teams finishing with ten wins or more, Memphis getting to the Cotton Bowl, and with four teams finishing the season ranked. The national attention to SMU, Cincinnati, and with some other big performances were what the league needed.
Cincinnati Season Grade: A
Stupid Memphis. Cincinnati got whacked by a brilliant Ohio State team, couldn’t beat Memphis in back-to-back road games – including the AAC Championship – and that was it. Luke Fickell’s club destroyed Boston College in the Birmingham Bowl, battled through some tough fights, and did absolutely everything right but … beat Memphis. 11 wins are 11 wins – it was a fantastic year.
East Carolina Season Grade: C-
Don’t get too caught up in the final record. It was an occasionally fun first season under Mike Houston with wild fights against Cincinnati and SMU late in the season. There were two wins over FCS teams, and beating Old Dominion and UConn was about as tough as ordering drive-through, but at least there were signs that things might soon be better. Even so, there just weren’t any good wins.
Temple Season Grade: B
Rod Carey’s first season at the helm wasn’t that bad. The wins over Maryland and Georgia Tech were at least wins over Power Five teams, and this was the only team to beat Memphis before Penn State did it in the Cotton Bowl. However, there was a strange blowout loss to Buffalo, and Carey can’t shake the reputation of his teams crashing in bowls with a 55-13 Military Bowl loss to North Carolina.
UCF Season Grade: B
There might not have been an AAC Championship or a trip to a New Year’s Six game, but it was still an outstanding year with ten wins, a dominant Gasparilla Bowl win over Marshall, and with all three losses by a total of seven points. However, it’s UCF – three-loss regular seasons are a massive disappointment now. Even so, a double-digit win campaign is always excellent – even with a loss to Tulsa.
USF Season Grade: C-
The strange part about the season was that there weren’t any massive clunkers among the eight losses. Fine, losing to Georgia Tech wasn’t okay, but it was still a road loss to an ACC team. Temple was the only other loss to a team that didn’t finish with at least ten wins. Even so, beating BYU was the only real high point, Charlie Strong was fired, and things just didn’t quite work out as planned.
UConn Season Grade: D
It’s sort of hard to be disappointed when you don’t expect anything. Not only did the Huskies only win two games – Wagner, and against a miserable UMass team – but they were ripped apart by double-digits in eight of the ten losses. It would’ve been nice to come up with some sort of a surprise against someone.