American Conference Schedule Hits and Misses

Today we look at the American conference. The American plays an 8  game schedule and there are no inequities as each team has four home games and four away games.

The next category to look at is conference records from last year. Just like with some of the power five conferences the overall numbers will not equal in wins and losses as SMU departs with an 8-0 league record and Army is added in. Now Army did not play conference games last year but I came up with a very reasonable record for them. They were 6-6 so I made it 4-4 in conference play. I argued with myself on both sides. The First argument was that they were really 4-6 vs FBS teams with two FCS wins so how could I count them 4-4? The second was they played two AAC teams last year in UTSA and Navy and beat them both (2-0) so how could I count them 4-4. Those two offset and then I thought back to the Navy game which came down to the final play at the 1 yard line showing how equal they were with Navy. Guess what? Navy was 4-4 in AAC play so I am very comfortable with my 4-4 decision.

The overall conference record does not equal .500 with the loss of SMU and it is just 416-480 for 46.4%.

In this category Rice faces the toughest schedule with their foes going 38-26 in league play last year with a large gap to the 2nd toughest schedule and that is Memphis at 35-29 (54.7%).

Three teams tied for the easiest schedule in this metric with that being UTSA, Army and Florida Atlantic as their 8 conference opponents combined for a 24-40 record 37.5% in conference play last year.

I have the chart color coded. Now, you may disagree with my ratings, but I have all my preliminary numbers done as the portal is closed and almost all good players have signed that were out there. I have put the teams in three colors.

The top level of teams are the powers. I list those teams in RED for you do not want to play them. That top level category in no particular order is Tulane, UTSA, Memphis and USF.

The next level is in Blue, and they are teams that look like bowl teams or bowl caliber teams for this year.

The bottom level is Green for teams that you want to draw. In my preliminary rankings right now the bottom 3 teams in the AAC are Charlotte, Tulsa and Temple.

Only one team draws all 4 of the top teams in the league this year and that is Rice and the opponents win percentage bear that out. Five teams draw three of the toughest teams and Charlotte rates the 2nd toughest ranking by me as they do not play any GREEN teams. Five teams only face two of the top 4 teams and of the 4 FAU offsets it by playing all three of the teams I rate at the bottom of the league as does Tulane. East Carolina is one of 3 teams that play just one of the top teams and they are the only one of the three that face all three green teams so they get my call for best (easiest) AAC schedule.

Here is the chart and here is how I grade this year’s CONFERENCE schedules, keep in mind non-conference games are not included in this strength of schedule.

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