USF and UCF still in line to battle for AAC East title

By Chris Torello, Spectrum Sports Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, September 08, 2017

It stinks there won’t be any college football this weekend.  Especially if you are a USF or UCF fan who entered Thursday night thinking both games would be played.

USF fans were reaching for their second dinner roll when they were informed their team would not be heading to UConn due to concerns over returning ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Most UCF fans woke up Friday morning to the news of a cancelled game with Memphis even with the game pushed up to a Friday night kickoff at Spectrum Stadium. (And Memphis had just landed in Florida when they were told to get on the plane and go back.)

“Safety first” was the message from both Athletic Directors Danny White (UCF) and Mark Harlan (USF). They also received a good nudge from Governor Rick Scott when he shut down all state colleges and universities through Monday.

Both of these games were to be conference openers in the American for UCF and USF.  And chances are neither game will be made up unless another game in both schedules were moved into bye weeks.

But guess what, Knights and Bulls fans; nothing changes for these two teams. They are still in line to be the top two teams in the AAC East division.

And I expect the November 24th game on Black Friday in Orlando to determine everything.

Allow me to explain my reasoning.

USF does lose the division game by not going to UConn, while UCF just loses an overall conference game. But the way the two divisions are determined (East and West) is overall conference winning percentage.

If USF and UCF do not make up their games then both would only play seven conference games. USF gets the easier schedule – missing Navy and getting Temple, Cincinnati, Houston, and Tulsa all at home, while having Tulane and East Carolina on the road. UCF has the much tougher task of  going to Cincinnati, Navy, SMU, and Temple (though they do not play a conference game again until October 7th).

I fully expect USF to hold a conference record of 6-0 headed to Orlando on  November 24th.  The question is, will UCF? I think the Knights can manage a 5-1 at best and they will need that in order to hold out hope of making that Bulls game count.  Scott Frost and his staff will get this team in position. But let’s say UCF is 4-2 in the conference when they play the Bulls. UCF could spoil the Bulls’ AAC title game hopes if they beat them and another team can claim a 7-1 record in the East.

Not saying that all happens. But the drama created by the loss of a game this early in the season is going to be fascinating.

Stay safe this weekend, everyone, and then prepare for battle next week. And then every week after that.

November 24th will be here before you know it and I expect the AAC East to be decided that day.