The American Athletic Conference is nearing the end of its regular-season slate, but COVID-19 caused some problems this week as the game between SMU and Houston scheduled for this week was postponed due to issues on Houston’s side. On Friday the AAC announced a revised schedule with multiple games shifted around, as the Mustangs and Cougars will now face each other on Dec. 5 in Dallas instead of Dec. 12, as some expected. Houston was previously scheduled to play at Memphis on Dec. 5, but that game has been moved to Dec. 12.
In addition, Memphis will now face Navy on Nov. 28 after that game had been postponed with no announced makeup date. The Tigers will face Tulane on Dec. 5 as part of the new schedule, Tulsa will face Navy on the same day and Cincinnati will visit Tulsa on Dec. 12 in a big game to end the regular season. Overall, this is a major makeover of the schedule after multiple postponements caused the league headaches — Navy, for instance, hasn’t played since Oct. 31.
SMU remains in contention for a berth in the AAC title game on Dec. 19, although its path narrowed significantly after Saturday’s loss to Tulsa. Cincinnati and Tulsa are both 5-0 in the league after the Golden Hurricane escaped with a thrilling win over Tulane on Thursday, whereas the Mustangs are 4-2 with highly winnable league games remaining against Houston and East Carolina.
A win against Houston would double as some in-state momentum under coach Sonny Dykes. So far the Mustangs are looking good on the trail in 2021 with the No. 55 spot in the 247Sports Composite team rankings, and Dykes said this week that the Cougars will pose a challenge whenever SMU faces them.
“Typical Houston team,” Dykes
“That’s been probably the most evident thing you can see just the difference between this year’s team and last year’s team is that they’re playing at a much higher level on both lines of scrimmage than they were a year ago. Just a really good football team. One of the most talented teams in league. When you sit down every year and you go which team’s the most talented, they’re always gonna be right there at the top of the list with with everybody else just because they have a lot of access to good players and that’s just been a trademark of Houston football teams for years and years and years has been their speed and athleticism.”