No movement this week in the American. The story remains the same from week to week, although UConn wasted a perfect chance to shoot up the rankings. Alas, the Huskies fell to Michigan, and remain in the bottom tier of the American. On to the rankings:
1. Louisville Cardinals (4-0) LW: 1
Last week: Won v. FIU (0-4), 72-0
Did Ron Turner ask for a running clock in the blowout loss against Louisville? They probably should have started with a running clock since the Golden Panthers were shellacked for 72 points on Saturday, including 4 TDs from Bridgewater. Once again, this win does not say much about the Cardinals other than the fact Tom Jurich has no problem playing cannon fodder. Louisville travels to Philadelphia after their bye this week before hosting Rutgers on Thursday night.
2. UCF Knights (3-0) LW: 2
Last week: Inactive
The Fighting Bortles were inactive last Saturday and play host to Jadeveon Clowney and the Gamecocks this weekend. The Knights of Orlando could hold on to the number two spot in these rankings if they cover a ten-point spread against SCar.
3. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (3-1) LW: 3
Last week: Won v. Arkansas (3-1), 28-24
If it's the SEC that brings out the best in Gary Nova, then get more of that conference on the schedule. The junior quarterback for Rutgers engineered a spectacular comeback for a boisterous home crowd in Piscataway last Saturday, spurred by the freshman sensation Janarion Grant and his electrifying punt returns. You could make a weak case for Rutgers to be number two, but I don't think Arkansas is as good as Penn State, and UCF took down the Nittany Lions in Beaver Stadium, while Rutgers had to rally at home.
4. Cincinnati Bearcats (3-1) LW: 4
Last week: Won @ Miami (OH) (0-3), 14-0
OTB would like to take a moment to honor the memory of Cincinnati offensive lineman, Ben Glick. The freshman was killed in a one-vehicle accident on Saturday, so best wishes to his teammates and his family. The RedHawks are not a good team, and Cincinnati put up the first points against the MAC visitors with 4:55 left to go until the final whistle. 4:55. Brendon Kay was ineffective at QB, throwing for two picks on less than 200 yards rushing. While the AAC has a top-tier set of schools this season, Cincinnati is well below the top three overall.
5. Houston Cougars (3-0, 1-0) LW: 5
Last week: Won v. Rice (1-2), 31-26
Through the first three weeks of the 2013 season, Houston has beaten a bad Temple team by nine points and survived Rice last week, holding off a rally by the Owls. That's good for the fifth best team in the American, which says quite a bit about the talent in the worst BCS conference by far. Houston does have some good skill players, especially wideout Deontay Greenberry. But make no mistake, there are probably only four teams who can compete for the end of season BCS bid, and one team is hanging by a thread.
6. SMU Mustangs (1-2) LW: 6
Last week: Lost @ Texas A&M (3-1), 42-13
This game is nice picture of how Mack Brown fell into the hot seat at Texas. You have Garrett Gilbert, a former blue chip recruit who held virtually every Texas high school football record at the time of his signing, and Johnny Manziel, who Brown recruited as a defensive back. Texas A&M is ridiculously good, so this score doesn't say much about the Mustangs. SMU has one more Lone Star rival before heading into conference play.
7. Memphis Tigers (1-2) LW: 7
Last week: Won v. Arkansas State (2-2), 31-7
Memphis racked up 505 total yards against Arkansas State last week, including 329 yards on the ground. The Red Wolves are by no means stout against the run (90th in rush defense), but it's a good start for a program on the rise. The Tigers' defense held its own as well, holding the Red Wolves to 74 rushing yards for the day, well below its 25th ranked 240 yard average per game.
8. Connecticut Huskies (0-3) LW: 8
Last week: Lost v. Michigan (4-0), 24-21
Close, but no cigar Huskies. Connecticut had a chance to give the American a marquee win, but instead had a heartbreaking loss in front of a record crowd at Rentschler Field. Michigan appeared to resurrect Denard Robinson at quarterback, as the Wolverines went 13 or 25 for 111 yards and 2 INTs (Gardner added a lost fumble). The Huskies couldn't move the ball well at all on offense, making the most out of the opportunities the Wolverines gave them, which is typical of an upset of this nature. I actually think the Huskies are a better team than Memphis, but they haven't shown me that yet. That should change once conference play starts.
9. Temple Owls (0-3, 0-1) LW: 9
Last week: Inactive
Temple had a chance to rest up and prepare to get their first win of the season against a really bad Idaho team. The Owls will make the trip to the Kibbie Dome in Moscow, ID, where the Vandals were competitive against MAC favorite Northern Illinois.
10. USF Bulls (0-3) LW: 10
Last week: Inactive
USF has really struggled this season, regardless of opponent. Against FCS-MSU and FBS-MSU, the Bulls have failed to muster any kind of offense or defense. It doesn't get any easier this week with the Miami Hurricanes coming to visit RayJay. October 12 is a key Saturday, as UConn hosts USF in a bottom-dweller matchup.