USF was this close to pulling the upset. Had the Bulls won, they would have potentially knocked UCF out of the BCS, giving Bulls fans even more ammunition in their quest to quash the rivalry. Meanwhile, Rutgers loses again, Temple gets its first conference win, and SMU-Houston produces a dud of game.
1. UCF Knights (10-1, 7-0) LW: 1
Last week: Won v. USF (2-9, 2-5), 23-20
The Knights of Orlando had to fight off a determined Bulls team clamoring for the upset to keep their BCS hopes alive and kicking. Blake Bortles had an off night, but still managed to throw a couple of touchdowns. It was an off night everyone really, as Storm Johnson had a couple of fumbles to add to the five total turnovers to usually sound offense.
2. Louisville Cardinals (10-1, 6-1) LW: 2
Last week: Inactive
Louisville had the week off to prepare for the what could be the last Keg of Nails matchup for quite some time. It's an anti-climactic season for the Cardinals, as the hope for a BCS berth is officially quashed. Even with a UCF loss next week, the Knights of Orlando would still own the tiebreaker versus the Cardinals.
3. Cincinnati Bearcats (9-2, 6-1) LW: 3
Last week: Inactive
The Bearcats get a bye to prepare for a bruiser of a matchup as well. The difference here, is that Cincinnati actually has a glimmer of hope to reach the BCS. A win against the rival Cardinals coupled with a UCF loss would put them in a tie for first with the Knights, and the nature of the timing would probably vault the Bearcats ahead of the Knights, sending them to the BCS.
4. Houston Cougars (8-4, 5-3) LW: 4
Last week: Won v. SMU (5-6, 4-3), 34-0
The Cougars first season in the American went as expected, with Houston beating the teams they should have, and losing to teams ranked higher. A solid inaugural campaign, a bowl win, and the development of QB John O'Korn gives Houston a very bright future.
5. SMU Mustangs (5-6, 4-3) LW: 5
Last week: Lost @ Houston (8-4, 5-3), 0-34
It might seem odd that the Mustangs don't fall any spots considering they were shut out, but Houston is a good team and SMU was without Garrett Gilbert at quarterback. Freshman Neal Burcham was thrown into the fire quickly racking up a staggering 52 passing attempts (27 completions) for the game, with a total of 93 passing attempts between Burcham and John O'Korn. A bowl for June Jones' squad seems unlikely, as they host conference favorite UCF for the final game of the season.
6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (5-6, 2-5) LW: 6
Last week: Lost @ UConn (2-9, 2-5), 17-28
This is where it gets tricky to rate the rest of the American. Rutgers is an absolute dumpster fire at the moment and definitely deserves to be lower, but then you take a look behind them. I feel bad rating the Scarlet Knights this high, but Memphis just lost to a rising Temple team, who lost to RU a couple of weeks ago. UConn doesn't deserve to jump this high after a win over a terribly coached Kyle Flood squad, so this is the current resting place for Rutgers.
7. Temple Owls (2-10, 1-7) LW: 8
Last week: Won @ Memphis (3-8, 1-6), 41-21
While it was a rough year for the Owls, first-year head coach Matt Rhule has a good amount of talent to work with for the future. QB P.J. Walker was an absolute stud against the Tigers, throwing for 328 yards on 20 of 32 passing and four touchdowns. He added 59 yards on 11 carries as well.
8. Connecticut Huskies (2-9, 2-5) LW: 9
Last week: Won v. Rutgers (5-6, 2-5), 28-17
UConn is at its highest ranking all season after completing a two-game win streak against a reeling Rutgers team. The Huskies made quick work of arguably one of the worst secondaries in all of college football, as QB Casey Cochran looked Heisman-esque throwing for 311 yards on 25 of 33 passing, two touchdowns, and no interceptions.
9. Memphis Tigers (3-8, 1-6) LW: 8
Last week: Lost v. Temple (3-8, 1-6), 21-41
Just when you think the Tigers have found a groove, they go and end up blowing it against Temple. Memphis managed just 228 total yards last Saturday, but gave up a staggering 534 yards.
10. USF Bulls (2-9, 2-5) LW: 10
Last week: Lost @ UCF (10-1, 7-0), 20-23
Talk about a heartbreaker. USF would have liked to see nothing more than their "supposed" in-state rival to lose, but they couldn't quite seal the deal. After Blake Bortles scored a touchdown with 4:50 left to go, Bulls QB Mike White threw an interception in the ensuing drive to confirm the loss.