Conference Breakdown: American

5 things to know about the American

Biggest game: UCF at Cincinnati, October 31

Player to always watch: A Bearcats wide receiver. Any of them.

Team nobody wants to play: Temple

Coach who really needs wins: Willie Taggart, USF

Don't be surprised if ... Navy wins a conference title in its first-ever try.

Bill Connelly's Power Rankings

Tier 1

Cincinnati

If UC can stay healthy, scoreboards are in trouble.

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Navy

After a century-plus, Navy joins a conference. And a conference title race.

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UCF

Another surge is coming, but will it be in 2015?

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Memphis

How do you follow up a three-year miracle?

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Temple

Temple just had one of the most improved defenses ever. Now for an AAC title shot?

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Tier 2

East Carolina

The Pirates have a major test. I expect them to pass.

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Houston

When in doubt, emulate Urban Meyer.

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Tier 3

Tulane

Bad thing about raising the bar: you have to keep clearing it.

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Tier 4

Tulsa

Trying to be the Heartland's mid-major Baylor? Makes sense.

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SMU

Chad Morrs = way more fun = happier SMU fans

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South Florida

Things are bad.

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UConn

Listen, y'all. Bob Diaco is not a miracle worker.

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Tier 5