UC football picked to win AAC - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

UC football picked to win AAC

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NEWPORT, RI (FOX19 NOW) -

The University of Cincinnati football team was named the preseason favorite to win the inaugural American Athletic Conference Football Championship, which will cap the conference’s first season with 12 teams and two divisions.

The Bearcats, also tabbed for the top spot a year ago, received 22 of a possible 30 votes to win the league title in the preseason balloting of media representatives. Cincinnati was a near-unanimous selection to win the East Division as the Bearcats earned all but one first-place vote in the divisional poll. UC has won or shared five conference titles in the past seven years.

Cincinnati has won at least nine games seven times in the last eight years and has reached double digits in wins five times in that stretch. The Bearcats have finished 9-4 in each of Tommy Tuberville’s first two seasons on the Cincinnati sideline and won a share of the American Athletic Conference title last year with a 7-1 league mark.

Cincinnati returns 15 starters from last year, including quarterback Gunner Kiel, who threw a league-leading 31 touchdown passes in 2014. Kiel has his top seven receivers back from last season and will be protected by an offensive line that has 76 career starts to its credit led by All-America candidate Parker Ehinger.

The Bearcats also expect a boost from their return to Nippert Stadium, which underwent an $86 million renovation last season.

2015 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON FOOTBALL MEDIA POLL

American Championship

Team                                                           Points

Cincinnati                                                     22

Memphis                                                       5

Houston                                                         2

UCF                                                                 1
                                                                         
East Division

Team     (First-Place Votes)                    Points

1.            Cincinnati (29)                             179

2.            UCF (1)                                          135

3.            Temple                                          116

4.            East Carolina                                105

5.            USF                                                  53

6.            UConn                                             42

West Division

Team     (First-Place Votes)                    Points

1.            Memphis (13)                              153

2.            Houston (10)                                149

3.            Navy (7)                                         148

4.            Tulane                                            74

5.            SMU                                                59

6.            Tulsa                                               47

**First-place votes in parentheses

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