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UCF again picked to win AAC title by league media

The Knights edged Cincinnati in a balloting of 30 media members
MONICA HERNDON   |   Times
UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. (8), getting tackled by USF defensive end Kirk Livingstone (94) last season, recently suffered a broken ankle.
MONICA HERNDON | Times UCF quarterback Darriel Mack Jr. (8), getting tackled by USF defensive end Kirk Livingstone (94) last season, recently suffered a broken ankle.
Published Jul. 16
Updated Jul. 16

NEWPORT, R.I. ― If the American Athletic Conference pundits are correct, UCF’s reign atop the league will continue a third year.

Despite the loss of their top two quarterbacks from last season, the Knights were picked to win the league championship in its preseason media poll.

UCF received 12 of a possible 30 votes to win the AAC, and received 19 first-place votes in the East Division.

MORE USF: Video: Is Tampa a long-term home for USF’s Charlie Strong?

USF was picked to finish third in the East, behind UCF and Cincinnati. No voter picked the Bulls to win the conference title. Memphis (15 first-place votes) edged Houston (14) in balloting for the West.

Whomever starts at quarterback for UCF in its Aug. 29 opener against Florida A&M will never have taken a snap in a game for the Knights.

McKenzie Milton, the catalyst behind the program’s recent 25-game win streak, still is recovering from the horrific knee injury sustained in last year’s game at USF. His backup, Darriel Mack Jr., recently suffered a broken ankle.

That means Notre Dame transfer Brandon Wimbush, freshman early enrollee Dillon Gabriel and redshirt freshman Quadry Jones will vie for the job when preseason camp commences July 30.

“Not concerned at all, man,” Knights redshirt junior defensive back Richie Grant said Tuesday.

“This spring showed me so much, man. Those four guys that were competing this spring, I have no idea who’s gonna be named starter, so that’s a great thing.”

The favorite in the preseason poll ultimately has won the AAC title only twice in the league’s six-year history.

2019 AAC preseason media poll

Overall champion

UCF (12 votes)

Cincinnati (8)

Memphis (6)

Houston (4)

East Division

(first-place votes in parentheses)

1. UCF (19)

2. Cincinnati (11)

3. USF

4. Temple

5. East Carolina

6. Connecticut

West Division

(first-place votes in parentheses)

1. Memphis (15)

2. Houston (14)

3. Tulane

4. SMU (1)

5. Navy

6. Tulsa

Contact Joey Knight at jknight@tampabay.com. Follow @TBTimes_Bulls.

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