Central Florida took a giant step toward winning the inaugural AAC title and the berth in a BCS bowl that goes with it. But with four games left in the season, you won't catch UCF coach George O'Leary talking about that just yet.
"You won't even here me mention that. I'll be talking about Temple," O'Leary said, referring to the Knights upcoming opponent. "We've got to get up each and every week and take care of one game at a time."
That cliche aside, Central Florida won't be under the most pressure this week. The Knights are unbeaten in AAC play, with wins over both its main rivals in Louisville and Houston. It doesn't play Cincinnati, and the Bearcats already have a loss themselves. It now faces a Temple team that's still winless in conference play and, at 1-8, is officially playing for next year.
Instead, it's UCF's last opponent that gets the pivotal battle, as Houston remains on the road to take on Louisville. The loser of that game is effectively out of the title race, while the winner has to hope for a three-way tie atop the league. Both lose a head-to-head tiebreaker with UCF because they lost to the Knights.
Cincinnati, meanwhile, travels to take on Rutgers. The Bearcats have the toughest finish of any of the contenders, traveling to Houston on Nov. 23 before hosting Louisville to end the season. That inexplicable Oct. 5 loss to South Florida could prove costly for the Bearcats if the team runs the table and doesn't get help from one of UCF's remaining opponents.
As for Central Florida, don't expect the Knights to lose because they're taking anything for granted.
"I told the players enjoy the night and we will get busy tomorrow correcting mistakes," O'Leary said after knocking off the Cougars. "It was a win that we were looking for and a hard-fought win. We have to improve in some areas, but it was a good win for UCF."
FIVE BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS FROM WEEK 11 IN THE AAC:
1. Connecticut might have another new starter under center this week. With Tim Boyle averaging a pair of interceptions per start and having a hard time dealing with the pass rush, either Casey Cochran or Chandler Whitmer could get the nod this weekend.
2. It's a shame that Central Florida and Cincinnati don't play each other this season. The Bearcats have come on strong since losing to South Florida on Oct. 5, and if it runs the table in the regular season it'll be that inexplicable defeat that keeps the team from winning the title.
3. Houston will be without Zach McMillian for the first half of the Louisville game. He was ejected for targeting UCF wide receiver Breshad Perriman.
4. What more does Central Florida have to do win love in the polls? The Knights remain ranked behind Louisville in both major polls this despite their head-to-head victory in Louisville.
5. Despite the easy victory over Connecticut, don't expect this to be a fun week of practice in Louisville. Twelve penalties and numerous dropped passes won't make for a fun film review.