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Early Look at the AAC Race

With their win over Houston, the Bearcats jumped into 3rd place in the AAC. How good do I feel about their chances of winning the conference, you ask?

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Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We're roughly a third of the way into conference play in the American Athletic, so here's a snapshot of where each school sits - and how likely it is that the Bearcats will finish the regular season on top.

School Conference Overall
Tulsa 6-0 13-5
SMU 6-1 15-4
Cincinnati 4-2 13-5
Tulane 4-3 13-6
Memphis 4-3 11-7
Temple 3-3 12-7
UConn 2-2 9-7
UCF 2-4 9-8
East Carolina 1-4 8-10
USF 1-4 7-11
Houston 0-7 7-11

Tulsa - (Preseason Pick: Fifth) Boy, who saw this coming? They only have one game total against the Bearcats this year, and it's in Tulsa, OK. They still have to play SMU twice and UConn on the road. At 6-0, they've only beaten one team that currently boasts a winning record in AAC play (Memphis - although they did destroy them). All things considered, I like their path to a regular season title. Stock: Hold

SMU - (Preseason Pick: Second) You probably heard the news regarding the NCAA investigation and the sudden ineligibility of sophomore guard Keith Frazier (10.5 points & 4.0 rebounds a game). Their lone conference loss is to the Bearcats, and they still have to play Tulsa and UConn twice (plus the Bearcats again). Anything can happen, but losing Frazier will sting a bit. Stock: Sell

Cincinnati - (Preseason Pick: Fourth) Losses against UConn and Memphis and the Bearcats have both of those teams at home still. Have to play SMU on the road, but, again, I'm not sure what to expect with their recent news. Still have 2 games each against East Carolina and UCF; that should help. I'll put UC's odds at 4-1 to win the conference. Stock: Buy

Tulane (Preseason Pick: Eleventh) Call me a hater, but the Green Wave's position in the AAC standings won't hold for long. They still have to play UC, UConn, and Tulsa each twice. They do have a victory over Memphis, but all of their other wins wouldn't make you glance twice at their resume. Stock: Sell

Memphis (Preseason Pick: Third) We know a bit about the Tigers having already encountered them earlier this season. They've been somewhat Jekyll & Hyde so far with heavy emphasis on the Hyde. After beating UCF by 20, they turn around and lost to Tulsa by almost 20. They still have UConn twice and a handful of bottom feeders. Stock: Hold

Temple (Preseason Pick: Sixth) The Owls edged out a victory over UConn in Hartford but are currently on a three-game losing streak. Their remaining schedule is a mixed bag of good and not-so-good teams, so I expect a handful of wins and losses remain on the docket. Stock: Hold

UConn (Preseason Pick: First) This is the most interesting team in the AAC because the Huskies have only played 4 conference games as of today. Their next two are gimmes (and at home), so they'll wind up with the same AAC record as UC currently has now. UConn still has to play SMU and Memphis each twice - and both are obviously capable of picking off the Huskies. They're healthy now, so watch out. Stock: Buy

UCF, East Carolina, USF, Houston - no chance, and hopefully you wouldn't have bought stock in any of them pre-season.

So, there you have it; my way-too-early look at what's to come in the American. I think it'll be a four horse race between Tulsa, UC, SMU, and UConn. We'll know more soon, but what say you for now?