AAC Reputation Taking Hit in Bowls

These Sun Belt officials should be ashamed. 

It’s a good thing bowl games are being played for nothing other than pride, because any pride credits the AAC built up in an impressive regular season are being used up in the postseason.

A couple of years ago, MLB put a tangible reward in the outcome of another meaningless sports endeavor, the all-star game, with home advantage in the World Series going to the league that won. Fortunately, the BCS is too pre-occupied with creating artificial advantages for its Power 5 teams to care about how Group of 5 teams do in bowl games. Otherwise, we might see something tangible go to a less-deserving conference like the Mid-American.

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Frustrating night for next year’s leaders.

The AAC has lost three games so far but, really, only one team, Temple, entered its Boca Raton Bowl game favored and that was just by one point. The other two AAC teams which have lost, Cincinnati and South Florida, were underdogs and rightly so. In the Temple game, the Owls drew to within 25-17 with 2:50 left and replays showed they recovered an onsides’ kick that was awarded to Toledo, but, as North Carolina found out in the ACC title game against Clemson, onsides’ kicks are not reviewable.

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Pretty good when you get a retweet from both the Philly and Pa player of the year.

South Florida, the second-place team in the AAC East, lost to the Conference USA champion, Western Kentucky, while the Mountain West Conference champion, San Diego State, pummeled the third-place finisher from the AAC East in Cincinnati.

Toledo was a curious underdog because the 10-2 Rockets were coming off a regular season that saw them win all their road games, including those at Iowa State and Arkansas. Iowa State was so impressed by Toledo that it went out and hired its head coach, Matt Campbell, after the season.

Now, the really meaningful games for the reputation of the conference are the Military Bowl and the Peach Bowl and the AAC looks to be in good shape in both.

Houston is a touchdown underdog to Florida State in the Peach Bowl, and Navy is a slight favorite against Pittsburgh in the Military Bowl. A pair of wins against established Power 5 teams could give the AAC the good news it so desperately needs now.

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11 thoughts on “AAC Reputation Taking Hit in Bowls

  1. Although Cincy’s loss is not a surprise, the fact that it was a blowout is. The more I watch Tuberville the less impressed I am. He makes boneheaded mistakes like going for two against TU so early in the game. As far as the conference is concerned, its members better quickly understand that other conferences resent its sudden rise and are placing special emphasis on games with them.

  2. Watched Matt Rhule’s Toledo press conference and he said at the end of the game he opened up the offense leading to PJ’s success in throwing deep passes. Why someone didn’t ask him how come it took the game getting to panic time to open up the offense is beyond me. I’ve watched a week of bowl games in which almost to a team, their pass offense is light years ahead of ours. Is it a case of the Owl’s scheme being too simple or is it reluctance on the part of the coaching staff to target receivers more than ten yards down the field? Did the Owls have a pass play longer than twenty-five yards where the ball traveled that far before the last game? The scheme seems to be the culprit because I saw very few influence patterns where a receiver ran a route simply to clear out a defender like ND did with the underneath pattern at the end of the game where the tight end caught the deep pass. Frankly, Matt should have Hardin contact Belichik for him so that he can learn how the Owls can use Jahad in a slot position at times to keep the defense honest. In fact, he should call Chip Kelly for some advice on how to use Thomas like the Eagles use Sproles.

  3. agreed. Play-action and fullback protection in the backfield should mean more, not less, big-play opportunities in the passing game. Only need to show that you can rip off a few early runs to bring the safeties and the LBs up closer to the line in run support and then hit them over the top. Also, ROLL P.J. OUT!!! P.J. rolled out twice last year and hit Jalen Fitzpatrick with beautiful deep bombs–one at Penn State and one at UConn. He could have done that with Robby all season. We’ll have to wait for the NFL, though, to see Robby score on those type of plays. Also, what happened to the tight end seam pass that Colin Thompson had big gains on vs. Memphis and UConn? As far as I know, the AAC doesn’t have a rule that you can only throw to the tight end once a game.

  4. by the way, you won’t read those types of criticism over at Pravda. Over there, we have the greatest offensive coordinator since Sid Gillman.

    • putting Jahad in the slot is something Temple should strongly consider, he would be a great replacement for #7 provided he can catch the football…,

      Toledo really fought hard and wanted the onside kick more than Temple…., our offense is way too predictable, we need to make the defense pay for putting 8 in the box.., the AAC is getting smoked in the bowls..,

      and when bigger, stronger, and faster teams out-Temple us we need to be able to out-scheme them…, Hardin and Arians would have been undefeated with the talent we had on this team…, I often wondered why AG, a linebacker, made MR, another linebacker, the OC and QB coach.., did we really expect that to work?

      MR will always think like a linebacker which is by no means a criticism, it is just the reality of it all.., he must find a genius OC for this team to reach its full potential and get to the next level. the current OC is below average and one of the primary reasons this team lost 4 of its last seven games

    • I don’t know on this one Mike, of course the editor and his “palace guard” are pitching that line but I’m starting to see a good number of posts getting critical of Satterfield and the overall offense scheme or lack thereof. I think the defense is still going to be good in 2016 and would like to see the offense just get into the upper half of the AAC in scoring and total offense.

      • I see he posted a humorous response to me saying he “can’t win” because “some people on twitter” are accusing him of being too critical. Too critical of who? Certainly not St. Matt of State College. Instead of “some people on twitter” I would like him to post a link to just one (1) word he ever said that was critical of St. Matt (of SC). He can’t because those words do not exist. Also, he was quick to point out that the criticism of Satterfield was ill-informed because “he set a school record for 400 points.” He conveniently left out the part where the guy needed TWO MORE GAMES to score 1 more point that the 1979 squad. He might not be writing from Red Square, but he’s certainly writing from Cherry (colored) Square.

  5. I think they will end up putting Yancy in the slot, but Thomas would be good there and allow for a big back like Jager Gardner to shine. Al Golden was a tight end, but Rhule should have been a linebacker coach. After he opened up his HC career at 0-6, he said he spent the entire week coaching the linebackers and it paid off in a win over Army. I like the fact that MR was a QB coach, offensive coordinator, LB coach, special teams’ coach, recruiting coordinator, etc., at Temple. It made him more well-rounded to be a CEO. Hell, he probably would have been a DC if AG’s buddy, Mark D’Onofrio, didn’t block him. Also, noticed MDO coaching defense today against Washington State.

  6. Anymore than some twitter post regarding Satterfield and the Tenn Tech HC job? Would really be for the best if that happened as I don’t see Rhule making a move. Also, if the team does get in the market for a new OC, anyone on the current staff who would be a good candidate to promote from within? My preference would be to hire someone with a successful track record at this level.

  7. Mike, even more inconvenient in throwing out the 400 points scored (seen that mentioned in a couple of place) is nobody puts it in context. All that supposed offensive prowess still left Temple 9th of 12 AAC teams in total offense and 7th of 12 in scoring. Really not all that impressive if you ask me

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