With spring football kicking off around the country, it’s time to wrap up our previews for each of the Power Five conferences — and the AAC. The American’s 11 teams — remember: no more UConn — will give fans a first look at their team over the next couple of months. Some programs have already started drills. Others are about to start. Some haven’t announced anything yet. Still, it’s never too early to look ahead to some of the storylines coming out of the AAC.
- The top of the conference should be one of the most compelling races of the season, and it starts in spring practices. UCF is looking to get back to a conference title after missing out on the East crown a season ago. And while quarterback McKenzie Milton is back at practices, he has a long way to go before potentially playing in 2020. Memphis will take part in its first spring in the post-Mike Norvell era with new coach Ryan Silverfield. Cincinnati might be the early favorite with coach Luke Fickell eschewing yet another Power Five overture and an experienced team returning. The top of the AAC has produced some quality matchups over the last few years and this one should be no exception.
- Is it officially Year 1 for Houston coach Dana Holgorsen? Because he treated last year an awful lot like a Year 0. Was Houston in that bad of a spot for a Year 0? Regardless, dynamic quarterback D’Eriq King is gone after transferring to Miami. So, what does this Cougars’ offense look like? 2020 isn’t hot seat time for Holgorsen by any stretch, but after stumbling out of the gate last season, it’ll be interesting to see how much this program improves.
- The other big-name coach set for his debut in 2020 is USF’s Jeff Scott. The former Clemson staffer seems like a nice, high-energy hire for the Bulls and should reinvigorate a Group of Five sleeper. The offense has a lot of young parts returning. However, USF really tanked under former coach Charlie Strong, and it’s fair to wonder how quickly Scott will get things turned around in Tampa.