It’s never too early to start dissecting some college football win totals. Last year I went through every conference and gave my thoughts on every team’s win total. With regards to my process, I basically break down the games into three categories of definite wins, definite losses and toss-ups. For the most part, conference road games will represent losses unless it’s against a bottom dweller. There will be teams that I just don’t have a feel on because their number is spot on.
The American Athletic Conference had a very good 2015 with Houston beating Florida State in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl as well as wins by Temple (Penn State) and Navy (Pittsburgh in Military Bowl) that put the conference on the map. The Cougars figure to be the class of the league once again with Greg Ward Jr. under center. We’ll see if the Owls and Midshipmen can continue to take the next step. South Florida, Cincinnati and Memphis are among the teams that have the potential to make things interesting.
Record Last Year: 8-5, 6-2 Returning Starters: 14 (7 on offense, 7 on defense)
Offense: Running back Marlon Mack had an awesome season for the Bulls last year as he helped take the pressure off quarterback Quinton Flowers. The latter accounted for 34 touchdowns and has even more weapons in 2016. Keep an eye out for Marquez Valdes-Scantling, who comes over from NC State.
Defense: The Bulls’ defense held opponents to 22.9 points per game in 2015. The 4-2-5 alignment worked well for this unit, which ranked 17th (tied) nationally in tackles for a loss and 14th (tied) in interceptions. The majority of the defense is back making this team the chic pick to win the AAC East.
Schedule: Florida State comes to Tampa on Sept. 24. The Bulls also host Towson and Northern Illinois with a road matchup against Syracuse on the docket as well. The real test is if they suffer any hangover after the Seminoles game at Cincinnati. The Bulls play at Temple just six days after hosting UConn.
Selection: I’ll bite on the hype and lean to the over. Five of the first seven are at home. My one concern is road game sandwiched between the FSU contest and will the Bulls be focused before and after. Last year a loss to the Seminoles started a three-game losing streak.
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by Athlon Sports
SoFloBulls.com Editor | @Mcknurkle
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