Recently I posted how I would vote for the AAC preseason all-conference team, you can read that here. Despite my splendid writing in that article, I still do not have a media vote..
But once again, that will not stop me from letting you know how I would vote! Here is my AAC Preseason Poll:
The AAC is extremely interesting this year, each team has nuanced storylines, and I could write 500 words for every team. However, it is only July, so I won’t go into deep detail on the teams (there will be a later article for that). Instead, I’ll give my power rankings with a quick synopsis on why I placed the team where I did.
- USF – The media’s overwhelming favorite. I am a bit skeptical of Charlie Strong being as good as of coach as Taggart, but the talent is certainly the best in the league.
- Houston – Most of the media is picking Memphis as the favorite in the West, but I think the Cougar’s have similar talent to Memphis offensively, and much more talent defensively. Combining that with the fact that they host both Navy and Memphis, I have the Cougars as my West division favorite.
- UCF – Scott Frost had an extremely successful year one, and now that he has had a full-year to implement his offense I see the Knights having a season similar to ours of last year.
- Memphis – Good coach, star QB, great linebackers, Memphis has some of the pieces needed to challenge Houston and Navy for the AAC crown. However, I just see too many holes defensively to put them any higher. Road trips to UCF, Houston, and Tulsa will also challenge the Tigers.
- Navy – Never bet against Ken Niumatalolo, he has that program rolling. Navy is only returning 10 total starters, but I just can’t imagine the Midshipmen winning less than 8 games this season.
- Temple – The defending league champs have a lot to replace in 2017, including their coach, QB, and 4 of the 5 leading tacklers. The defensive talent will be enough to keep them competitive in every game, but I see them taking a couple steps back this season.
- Tulsa – The huge question mark at the QB position is the only thing holding me back from putting TU any higher. A challenging nonconference schedule doesn’t get any easier when league play starts, Navy visits on September 30th.
- SMU – The mustangs improved in 2016, but a difficult schedule kept them from a bowl game. This year SMU still has to travel to Navy, Houston, and TCU, but I expect the mustangs to win 6 0r 7 games.
- Cincinnati – The hire of Luke Fickell is certainly intriguing, but he struggled to a 6-7 record while interim head coach at Ohio State back in 2011. An easy schedule may allow the Bearcats to reach a bowl, but I don’t see them challenging any of the top teams
- Tulane – I like the progress the Wave made in 2016, and I think they’ll see more improvement this season. Fritz is a winning coach, and expect them to steal a game this year.
- UConn – I’m usually not a fan of bringing back old coaches, but I actually like Randy Edsall. The offense should be better than awful this year with former Auburn OC Rhett Lashlee in charge. Still though, they have a ways to go.
- ECU – Not a fan of this team at all, I think the school cursed themselves when they fired a coach with a 4-year winning record.
What do y’all think?