1. One Honest Thought On Each AAC Team
Click on each team for the preview, 5 things to know
UCF has more overall talent and gets the showdown in Orlando – for whatever that’s worth this year – but this is a good enough Bearcat team to pull off the win for the second year in a row. The O, though, needs the passing game to do more to help the cause.
This is going to be fun, even if the big wins aren’t always there. The defense is still suspect – the linebacking corps is good, though – with the passing game needing to carry the team in shootout.
It stinks that the Cougars used 2019 to prepare for 2020, and now 2020 is … this. There’s a whole lot of offensive firepower to be a whole lot better and to keep up with everyone. It all starts out in AAC play against Memphis on the road. Win that, and the narrative of the Dana Holgorsen era changes instantly.
The offensive talent is still in place to keep it all going, and the defensive side might be a little better, too. There shouldn’t be too much of a transition period – if any – to Ryan Silverfield with the bar set at AAC Championship or bust. UCF might be a bit better, but the Tigers get the matchup at home.
Can the Midshipmen replace Malcolm Perry under center? It’s Navy, so the running game will put up the big numbers as always, but where’s the explosive element going to come from without Perry? Beyond all of that, will any team in the league be as ready for this insane season? Locking down and being in sync won’t be an issue.
Seriously, how many years of college football is QB Shane Buechele allowed to play? The Mustang passing game will be as effective as any in the country numbers-wise, but the defense is still going to be a giant problem.
Everyone will be interested in UCF and Cincinnati, but the Owls are going to be a problem for everyone. The offensive skill parts have to do more, but the lines are good and the defense is potentially terrific.
It’s a sneaky-good team without a real weakness. The running game is going to be a killer behind a strong line, and there aren’t any issues to be all that worried about on the defensive side. Even the schedule works – at least a bit – with Navy, SMU, and Memphis at home.
There’s not enough on the defensive side to make the Golden Hurricane much of a player in the title chase, but that offense is going to screw up someone’s season in a big way. The skill players might not be the most talented in the conference, but the numbers will be there
No one in the AAC has the defensive talent – especially in the secondary – that UCF is throwing out there, and the skill parts are special. As disappointing as last year was, remember, all three losses were by a grand total of seven points – and they were all on the road. It’s going to take something special to get by this year’s version.
Lost in the ugliness of the 4-8 2019 season was how high the expectations were coming into the season. Nothing offensively seemed to work right, but there’s just enough talent in place – especially defensively – for new head man Jeff Scott to get off to a decent start.