2. UCF Knights
Sort of lost in how UCF was finally knocked off its lofty perch last year was what it took for that to happen.
There were three losses – and one was at Tulsa – but all three defeats were by a combined seven points. This year’s version might have a few depth issues here and there – Tennessee OT transfer Marcus Tatum needs to work out and be part of the rotation – but the team is loaded enough to make it three New Year’s Six trips in four years.
11 of the top 12 tacklers are expected back, the secondary should be special, and there’s enough in place to plan on a big jump from last year’s rocky season.
Now beat North Carolina to kick things off.
The Knights also have a trip to Georgia Tech to get by, but start out hot, and the buzz will be back.
However, they have to go to Memphis and Houston – this should be a far better Cougar team – and have a finishing kick of Temple, Cincinnati and at USF. Get through all of that, and there’s a likely rematch against Memphis in the American Athletic Conference Championship to deal with.
The team should be good enough to handle it.