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Monday, September 24, 2018

Football

Around the AAC: Possible clincher in Week 12


Week 12 of the college football season could spell the end of the Cougars’ championship hopes., or their dreams could stay alive for one more week. | File photo/The Cougar

This weekend’s matchups around the American Athletic Conference have conference championship implications for the Cougars. With a conference record of 4-2, the Cougars sit just one game behind the 5-1 Memphis Tigers in the AAC West.

All 12 AAC teams will be in action for Week 12. The key games this weekend that Cougars fans need to have their eyes on will be Central Florida vs. Temple, Houston vs. Tulane and Memphis vs. Southern Methodist.

Central Florida vs. Temple

Although this game will not affect the Cougars standing in the AAC, it will give fans a chance to see the team they might face in the conference championship. The Central Florida Knights are currently ranked as the 14th-best team by the Associated Press and have not lost a game this season.

They will be facing the Temple Owls, reigning conference champions. The Owls have not been the same team that they were last season after their star linebacker Haason Reddick left for the NFL draft. The Knights will dominate Temple this weekend, 45-17.

Houston vs. Tulane

The Cougars must win their final two games to have any hopes of making a trip to the AAC championship, the first of which is a matchup against the Tulane Green Wave in New Orleans.

Tulane already has more conference wins this year than it had all last season. But they are still a team that struggles to stop the run, ranking 116th in the nation in rush yards allowed.

The Cougars offense will continue its resurgent push against Tulane, and a late touchdown by the Green Wave will make the game appear closer than it really is. The Cougars will prevail 38-24.

Memphis vs. SMU

Stay away from this game if you are a fan of good defenses. Both teams are ranked 96th or worse in points allowed, and each team ranks in the top 10 in scoring offense. This will be a shootout.

If Memphis defeats SMU, then the Cougars’ hopes for a conference championship would officially be over. At that point, the best Houston could do is tie the Tigers in the standings. Memphis would hold a tiebreaker over the Cougars due to a victory earlier this season.

This game will most likely be won by the team who has the ball last. In a game that is sure to be full of touchdowns, a last-second field goal will win it for the Mustangs, 52-49.

Houston’s hopes of making the AAC championship will come down to this final week of the college football regular season.

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