Sunday, June 30, 2013

0 College Football Preview: American Athletic Conference

By Kenny Howell

It's around two months away to the first college football game, so what better time to start predicting what might happen this season. I think that predictions and polls to start the season are a bit useless because so much can happen once the first games start, but it is fun to predict nonetheless.

I will be predicting how each conference finishes, Top 25, complete college football power rankings, and bowl projections in the next week or so. Just check back to keep up because I may post more than one a day.

Today, I am going to start with the newest conference, the American Athletic Conference. It's a mixture of the former Big East, with a little from Conference USA. Louisville is the popular choice to win the conference again because of their stellar end to the season in the win over Florida in the Sugar Bowl, and Teddy Bridgewater returning to run the offense. But I think that means they have a target on their back, and it is going to end up costing them.

I think it is going to be a split title again. Rutgers goes to Louisville, which Louisville should win, but they host Cincinnati, which they should win. But Louisville ends the season on the road at Cincinnati, which the Cardinals should lose.

Each one could finish 11-1 on the regular season, as the hardest non-conference games are Louisville at Kentucky, Rutgers hosting Arkansas, and Cincinnati hosts Purdue, and travels to Illinois. I think they can win all those games, but I am going to pick the shocker, Kentucky, with all the excitement surrounding that new direction of the program, upsets their rival. Cincinnati will probably be ranked the highest when it is all said and done, so I will give them the conference. Even though the Bearcats have a new head coach, Tommy Tuberville should have a pretty talented team already playing well.

1. Cincinnati (11-1) (7-1)
2. Rutgers (11-1) (7-1)
3. Louisville (10-2) (7-1)
4. UCF (6-5) (5-3)
5. Houston (7-5) (4-4)
6. South Florida (5-7) (3-5)
7. SMU (4-8) (3-5)
8. Memphis (6-6) (2-6)
9. Connecticut (4-8) (2-6)
10. Temple (3-9) (0-8)


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