AAC Games to Watch This Weekend: Week 1

Holy cow, football season is here.  Here’s what to watch for among Cincinnati’s AAC competition in Week 1.

Here are the big games this Saturday around the rest of the American Athletic Conference:

The biggest:

  • #15 Houston vs. #3 Oklahoma – Saturday, Noon, ABC

This will be the only opportunity to see a UC opponent face a high quality team in Week 1.  Houston comes into 2016 riding the wave of their 13-1, AAC title season that culminated in a Peach Bowl victory over Florida State.  This game will be a great opportunity to see just how good Houston really is this year.  They have a lot back, including QB Greg Ward.  But we’ll see if they can compete with the big boys from Norman.  If Houston can beat OU, or even keep them in a nail-biter until the end, it’s hard to decide if I’ll be more worried or happy.  I’d love for the Cougars to come into Nippert still ranked so that the ‘Cats can have a shot at knocking them off on national TV.  But I also wouldn’t mind seeing Houston get curb-stomped by OU, because a.) it would make me feel a lot better about beating UH on September 15, and b.) in some way, that would have to hurt the perception of UH as a Big 12 candidate, right?

Maybe worth watching (or at least paying attention to)

  • Temple vs. Army – Friday, 7:00pm, CBSSN
  • Tulsa vs. San Jose State – Saturday, 7:00pm, CBSSN

These are really the only other two games The American will play against halfway respectable programs.  Tulsa-SJ State might be the best game on the AAC slate for the entire weekend.  It’s a game Tulsa should win if they want to be taken seriously as the “much improved” team they’ve been hyped to be in the preseason.

Don’t bother

  • Tulane @ Wake Forest – Thursday, 7:00pm
  • Maine @ UConn – Thursday, 7:00pm
  • Fordham @ Navy – Saturday, Noon, CBSSN
  • W. Carolina @ E. Carolina – Saturday, 6:00pm
  • Towson @ USF – Saturday, 7:00pm
  • SMU @ North Texas – Saturday, 7:00pm
  • SC State @ UCF – Saturday, 7:00pm
  • SE Missouri St. @ Memphis – Saturday, 7:00pm

Most of the rest of the league is playing FCS competition, just like UC.  Can UCF manage to beat its FCS opponent this year?  Tulane, who isn’t playing a cupcake, will probably get blown out.  SMU-North Texas will determine some Metroplex bragging rights, but if you want to see it, you’ll have to buy a ticket – it’s not televised, not even a webcast.