The AAC is ready for a very competitive football season. We project three teams winning at least 10 games in 2016. Houston is the team garnering all the attention in the preseason as they are coming off an impressive bowl victory over Florida State. We don’t have the Cougars winning the American Athletic Conference though in our AAC football predictions.
With eight predicted bowl teams, the AAC is gonna be a tough each week. Who wins the league? Find out in our 2016 AAC predictions below.
2016 Predicted Records and Standings for American Athletic Football:
|RANK||AAC EAST||W||L||CONF W||CONF L|
|60||East Carolina Pirates||5||7||3||5|
|RANK||AAC WEST||W||L||CONF W||CONF L|
|82||Tulsa Golden Hurricane||7||5||4||4|
|108||Tulane Green Wave||2||10||1||7|
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2016 AAC EAST PREVIEW
1. Temple Owls – Ten wins last year including a 27-10 win at Penn State have expecations high for 2016. The Owls will have a target on them this season but should handle it as the toughest AAC games are at home. If they can hold off a Penn State team focused on revenge, a undefeated season could happen.
2. South Florida Bulls – With 14 returning starters, the Bulls have high hopes to win the AAC in 2016. Willie Taggert is preaching caution to his team as he knows, they’re not going to sneak up on anyone this season. Look for the Bulls to improve upon last season.
3. Connecticut Huskies – UConn’s defense kept them in many gmes last year as the offense struggled mightily. Nine starters are back on offense which could help. They ruined Houston’s perfect season late in 2015 and ended up in a bowl. The Huskies are ready to take a step forward in 2016.
4. Cincinnati Bearcats – After a record setting offensive season in 2015, the Bearcats break in several new starters this year. Gunner Kiel is back at QB but has a new coordinator. With a pro-style attack now, numbers will probably be down which means it’ll be tougher to get wins. With the top two tacklers back, it can try to lean on the defense to pick up the slack.
5. East Carolina Pirates – New HC Scottie Montgomery is focused on balancing out the offense. The Pirates will have several new starters in 2016 and face a brutal road schedule. They’re going to have to find an upset on the schedule to get bowl eligible this season.
6. UCF Knights – The Knights can only get better right? After a 0-12 season in 2015, UCF is trying to rebound from a surprisingly winless season. Scott Frost has arrived after being Oregon’s offense coordinator. He plans a spectacular offensive attack similar to the one he ran with the Ducks. This is a roster still with talent. Frost’s biggest challenge is building confidence with the team. They’ll win this year, just not much.
2016 AAC WEST PREVIEW
1. Houston Cougars – Houston thought it was headed toward crashing the college football playoff last season before dropping a game to UConn by 3. They rebounded and won out including a convincing win over Florida State in the Peach Bowl. They’ve got to replace several starters but with Greg Ward back at QB, they’re contenders. A win week 1 against Oklahoma would make them playoff contenders from the start.
2. Navy Midshipmen – The Midshipmen had a great first season in the AAC in 2015. They come off a 11 win season but have nearly an entirely new set of starters on offense. The system should make it an easy transition but they’ll need new playmakers to repeat 11 wins.
3. Memphis Tigers – Justin Fuente left for Virginia Tech but leaves a team with 14 starters back. Mike Norvell takes over for Fuente and must replace Paxton Lynch. Norvell recruited Riley Ferguson, a former Tennessee recruit, to come in and start. How does Memphis handle the transition? They’re going back to a bowl but won’t be contenders for the AAC West.
4. Tulsa Golden Hurricane – With 13 starters back, the Golden Hurricane look to go back to a bowl game after making their first in 2015 in a few years. They should be competitive on both sides of the ball but with the top tier AAC games hosting the Golden Hurricane this season, it’ll be tough to improve much on last year’s record.
5. Tulane Green Wave – Willie Fritz takes over at Tulane in 2016 and wants to install the winning attack used at Georgia Southern. Fritz inherits a team that will get turned around eventually but looking for a winning season right away is a major ask. The defense should be able to keep them in some games but the offense will take a while to be ready.
6. SMU Mustangs – Chad Morris should have an offense to help keep them competitive but can the defense keep them from having to win shootouts every week. For the Mustangs, it’s going to be a long season and the schedule does them no favors.
2016 AAC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME
Temple vs. Houston
2016 AAC CHAMPIONS
Get bowl projections, preseason All-Americans and more in our 2016 College Football Preview.