Preview 2018: American Athletic Conference Team Rankings

Preview 2018: American Athletic Conference Team Rankings

2018 Preview

Preview 2018: American Athletic Conference Team Rankings


Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the American Athletic Conference season with the team rankings.


Preview 2018: American Athletic Conference Team Rankings

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This is NOT a prediction of how the teams will finish. They’re the rankings of how good the teams are going into the season.

Please scroll down for the American Athletic Conference rankings done by total conference, ranking 1 through 12.

American Athletic Rankings: East

1. UCF Knights

2018 UCF Preview

Should be ranked here because … the explosiveness is still there on offense and there are more than enough good athletes on both sides to keep all the fun going. QB McKenzie Milton is still fantastic.

Should be ranked lower because … there are some massive talent and leadership losses on the defensive side, and yeah, it does matter that Scott Frost is the head coach at Nebraska now. This isn’t the same team on the defensive front or in the secondary.

2. USF Bulls

2018 USF Preview

Should be ranked higher because … the defense should be the best in the conference with a terrific secondary and the strongest front seven. The receiving corps is potentially unstoppable.

Should be ranked lower because … the loss of QB Quinton Flowers hurts. UCF’s quarterback advantage is a big deal. The special teams will be mediocre – that might be enough to keep the Bulls from taking the East.

3. Temple Owls

2018 Temple Preview

Should be ranked higher because … the linebacking corps should be the best in the conference, and the offense has enough pop in the backfield to start doing more. Frank Nutile might just shock and push for all-conference quarterback honors.

Should be ranked lower because … the offensive line will be a problem early on. The rest of the attack is there, but it won’t work if the blocking isn’t terrific. The D line, for Temple, is just okay.

4. Cincinnati Bearcats

2018 Cincinnati Preview

Should be ranked higher because … it’s going to be a better Year Two under Luke Fickell – there will actually be an offense. The defense will still carry the team thanks to a terrific linebacking corps.

Should be ranked lower because … the O still has to prove it can move the ball. The line is going to be a problem, and the downfield passing game might struggle a bit with a mediocre group of skill parts.

5. Connecticut Huskies

2018 UConn Preview

Should be ranked higher because … it’s an okay team across the board that should be better in Year Two under Randy Edsall. The passing game will crank up enough at times to stay in games.

Should be ranked lower because … the playmakers just aren’t there on either side of the ball. It’s going to be an okay team, but there isn’t anything special to work around.

6. East Carolina Pirates

2018 East Carolina Preview

Should be ranked higher because … eventually, the Pirates are going to break through, at least offensively. The quarterback play will be fine and the big plays will be there to stay in games.

Should be ranked here because … the defense is still a massive concern, and the coaching is still a huge  question mark. If the O doesn’t keep up in shoots, there’s a problem.

American Athletic Rankings: West

This is NOT a prediction of how the teams will finish. They’re the rankings of how good the teams are going into the season.

Please scroll down for the American Athletic Conference rankings done by total conference, ranking 1 through 12.

1. Memphis Tigers

2018 Memphis Preview

Should be ranked here because … the machine isn’t going to stop. There might be new guys for the passing game, but the ground game will still be great, the offense still explosive, and the D has a great secondary to work around.

Should be ranked lower because … you don’t get better by losing QB Riley Ferguson and WR Anthony Miller. The defensive front seven might not be championship-worthy.

2. Houston Cougars

2018 Houston Preview

Should be ranked higher because … Ed Oliver might be the best player in college football. The Cougars also upgraded with a whole slew of grad transfers for several spots. Now, expect the offense to be more consistent.

Should be ranked lower because … other than quarterback, the offensive skill guys are still just okay. Yes, the D line will be terrific, and the back seven will be fine, but can the O really keep up in shootouts?

3. SMU Mustangs

2018 SMU Preview

Should be ranked higher because … the passing game is about to get ramped up to a whole other level with Sonny Dykes taking over and QB Ben Hicks bombing away. The offense should be among the league’s most productive and explosive.

Should be ranked lower because … there might not be any defense. There are a few nice parts, especially in the linebacking corps, but if the offense isn’t working on the wrong day, forget it.

4. Navy Midshipmen

2018 Navy Preview

Should be ranked higher because … as always, the running game is going to be devastating. The quarterback station is amazing with Malcolm Perry the main man, and with Zach Abey moving to receiver – but he can move over. The coaching, also as always, is peerless.

Should be ranked lower because … the offense needs Perry to be a passer at times, and that’s not a given. The line is just okay for what the Midshipmen need, and the defense doesn’t have the front six/seven to be consistent.

5. Tulane Green Wave

2018 Tulane Preview

Should be ranked higher because … after a few years to get this all going, the running attack should be fantastic. The running backs will take over games, the secondary will be good enough to hang around with the big passing teams, and the coaching is top-notch.

Should be ranked lower because … the defensive front seven is iffy. Zachery Harris is a strong linebacker, but the line needs to progress in a hurry. Even with some good receivers, if the ground game stalls, so will the offense.

6. Tulsa Golden Hurricane

2018 Tulsa Preview

Should be ranked higher because … the Golden Hurricane just won’t be that bad again. The offense will be far, far better if and when the quarterback situation is solid, and unlike last season, the points will come.

Should be ranked here because … the defense is still going to be a major issue. There might be a few good linebackers and safeties, but the line is a concern. The special teams will be an issue early on, too.

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