It may be their first year in the conference but the Central Florida Knights are going to take advantage of the AAC‘s automatic BCS berth while they can. While the overall strength of the conference is not great and the only team that was getting any national attention was the Louisville Cardinals, the winner of the conference title still gets an automatic ticket to a big-money bowl game. With UCF spoiling Louisville’s perfect season on Friday night, the Knights are in the driver’s seat for the AAC title.
Coming into the season, the Knights were a darkhorse candidate to do some damage in their inaugural run through the AAC. Blake Bortles has done well in the shadow of Teddy Bridgewater, ranking No. 3 in the conference in passing this season right behind Bridgewater averaging 264.0 yards per game. Storm Johnson has carried the load out of the backfield and ranks No. 2 in the conference in rushing, averaging 94 yards per game with a conference-leading eight rushing touchdowns.
And after slaying the Goliath that was Louisville, UCF finds a favorable path towards the conference title. They still have showdowns with the Houston Cougars and South Florida Bulls (both 2-0 in conference play) along with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-1 in AAC), but get all three of those games at home. Houston is coming off their first loss against the BYU Cougars and now must go on the road to take on a well-rested Rutgers squad on the road while USF doesn’t appear to be a serious threat at just 2-4 overall this season.
There are undoubtedly some games ahead of them that could trip them up, but for now UCF has to be the favorites to win the AAC in 2013. With a one-game lead on conference favorites like Louisville, Cincinnati and Rutgers, the Knights have the inside track to the conference’s BCS berth. With a solid foundation and leaders both offensively and defensively ready to step up, UCF has everything in place for a major bowl bid in 2013.