2016 AAC Conference Season Football Preview
Looking for AAC Conference 2016 predictions? The American Athletic Conference saw eight programs finish the 2015 season bowl eligible. That number should be about the same in 2015. In the East, Temple took the top spot with a 7-1 record in conference and a 10-4 record overall.
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In the West, Houston and Navy both 7-1 in conference while they went 13-1 and 11-2 overall, respectively.
With the season a mere week away, Houston is the odds-on favorite to win the AAC with South Florida, Cincinnati, Temple and Memphis rounding out the top 5.
The following is a look at a few of the top contenders to win the 2016 ACC Championship, along with their odds (via Bovada Sportsbook).
AAC Conference 2016 Odds: Houston (+120)
Houston has its eyes on the College Football Playoffs. That’s not an easy task for any program, but it’s especially difficult for a team from the AAC.
Despite the lofty expectations, Houston has a shot at reaching its goal. The team is coming off a one-loss 2015 campaign and it earned a win in the Peach Down over the Florida State Seminoles.
In 2016, Houston enters the season as the No. 15 team according to the AP Top 25 and the No. 13 team according to the Coaches Poll. It has two big tests on the schedule in both Oklahoma and Louisville that will either push this team toward or away from the playoffs depending on the outcomes.
AAC Conference 2016 Odds: South Florida (+260)
In the East Division, South Florida is the odds-on favorite to take the title; however, it will have to compete with a tough Temple squad to earn that crown.
At this point, USF earns the odd in terms of preseason projections, likely because Temple has to deal with the loss of so many key players. It’s safe to say that South Florida has the greater collection of talented players entering the new year.
This group is going to rely on the success of its backfield. Quarterback Quinton Flowers and tailback Marlon Mack are both back and looking to lead this team to a division title.
The big question for USF is going to be the offensive and defensive lines. There is rebuilding to be done on both sides of the ball and the hope is that the collection of talent in other areas will make up the difference.
AAC Conference 2016 Odds: Cincinnati (+550)
Cincinnati enters 2016 on the heels of a disappointing 2015 season. The Bearcats failed to reach at least nine wins for the first time since 2010 and now it’s looking to bounce back.
The good news for Cincinnati is that three of its losses last season were in tight contests that could have gone the other route (all three decided by eight points or fewer). That’s good news, indicating that wholesale changes aren’t necessary to take a step forward.
To officially take that step, one area to improve is in the turnover category. The Bearcats were a -19 in TO margin last year.
AAC Conference 2016 Odds: Temple (+800)
Temple is a slight notch behind South Florida in terms of East Division favorites; however, it’s going to be a close race between the two — a race that will likely be decided by a single game in terms of record.
Overall, Temple should be considered a sleeper in the AAC. If all things go right, this program has a chance to challenge not just USF but also Houston. P.J. Walker is a top-five quarterback in the conference and Karamo Dioubate should be one of the top freshmen in the conference.
Temple will be one of the most intriguing teams to watch this season.
AAC Conference 2016 Odds
- Houston +120
- South Florida +260
- Cincinnati +550
- Temple +800
- Memphis +1400
- Navy +1400
- Connecticut +3300
- Tulsa +3300
- East Carolina +4000
- SMU +7500
- Central Florida +7500
- Tulane +10000
AAC Conference: 2016 Prediction
Houston +120 The competition between USF and Temple will be one of the AAC’s biggest storylines this season. While the winner of the East Division has a chance to challenge Houston, let’s not overthink this one.
Houston is the favorite to win the AAC title for a reason. Greg Ward Jr. is coming off a year that saw him throw for 2,828 yards and 17 touchdowns to just six interceptions (he also ran for 1,108 yards and 21 scores on the ground).
The Cougars have a legitimate shot at being one of college football’s four best teams at the end of the regular season, giving us no reason to pick against them in their own conference.
What do you think about our AAC Conference 2016 Predictions? Please leave us a comment below telling us how you think they’ll do in 2016!
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