Remember the old days when UC entered every football season picked to finish 4th place or lower in the Big East? Well, those days are long gone.
This year, UC enters the first year of post-Louisville AAC conference play as the favorite to win the conference. Of the possible 30 first-place votes, UC received 17 votes from media representatives. Meanwhile, UCF (a team that was 8-0 in conference play last season) received only seven first-place votes. Houston finished just behind UCF with six first-place votes.
In total, the preseason media ended up as follows:
4. East Carolina
There’s been mixed reaction to the poll numbers, with at least one UCF player treating the preseason snub as bulletin board material. Clayton Geathers stated: “You never want to come in second. That just shows we have to go out with a winning attitude and just prove them wrong.” It’s worth noting that the two preseason favorites, Cincinnati and UCF, will not play each other in conference play this season.
I tend to think very little of preseason polls, especially preseason AAC media polls. UCF and the Bearcats will have to prove to the entire country that the AAC matters, and they will have an early opportunity to do that in nonconference play.