2013 College Football Preview: American Athletic Conference Predictions

New-Look AAC Features Louisville in 2013

Can Louisville get the new AAC to a BCS National Championship Game in its inaugural season?

Can Louisville get the new AAC to a BCS National Championship Game in its inaugural season? (Credit Kalel2007)

For 14 weeks during the fall of 2013, the Louisville Cardinals are going to make everyone in the Big Ten, Pac-12, ACC and Big 12 sweat some major bullets.

We predict that the Louisville Cardinals will throw BCS haters into a panic by going 11-0, only to drop their final game of the year against the Cincinnati Bearcats to keep the – shall we say, “much less touted” – AAC out of the final BCS National Championship Game. Still, Teddy Bridgewater and company will easily be the class of the American Athletic Conference.

Outside the Cardinals, there’s a lot of promise for the future in this brand-new conference. Out of the ashes of the Big East has risen a new conference, with a nice mix of mid-range “power conference teams” and high-end former “mid-major” schools, which should be a strong competitive balance and fresh flavor to this AAC. Don’t get used to the current alignment, however; among other shifts, Rutgers is “one and done” in the AAC, departing for the greener pastures of the Big Ten in 2014. Still, the Scarlet Knights will be among those jockeying for 2nd place in the AAC, along with the aforementioned Bearcats and the mildly surprising Central Florida Knights.

The dark horse of the AAC this year may turn out to be the SMU Mustangs, who are more talented than our prediction (7th in the AAC, 5-7 record) indicates. SMU may have one of the toughest schedules in all of the FBS in 2013 – their non-conference schedule includes a game vs. Texas Tech and two on the road at Texas A&M and TCU. How they survive those games may be an indicator to future AAC success; if they manage to go 2-2 (or somehow, 3-1) in their first 4 games, watch out for the Mustangs.

Still, this conference belongs to the Louisville Cardinals in 2013. A 12-0 run is plausible – and if that happens, all BCS hell may break loose.

2013 American Athletic Conference: Predicted Standings

  1. Louisville Cardinals: (11-1, 7-1 AAC)
  2. Cincinnati Bearcats: (9-3, 6-2 AAC)
  3. Central Florida Knights: (7-5, 5-3 AAC)
  4. Rutgers Scarlet Knights: (7-5, 5-3 AAC)
  5. Connecticut Huskies: (6-6, 4-4 AAC)
  6. South Florida Bulls: (6-6, 4-4 AAC)
  7. SMU Mustangs: (5-7, 4-4 AAC)
  8. Houston Cougars: (5-7, 3-5 AAC)
  9. Temple Owls: (3-9, 1-7 AAC)
  10. Memphis Tigers: (3-9, 1-7 AAC)

Louisville Cardinals Predicted to Win AAC, Represent Conference in BCS Bowl

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  1. Good read. Swap 3/4 and 6/7 and we have the same rankings! http://collegesportstown.com/2013/06/16/2013-college-football-preview-aac/

  2. Rusty Shackleford says:

    Cincinnati goes 12-0

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