Andy Lyons

2013 American Athletic Conference football: Advanced previews, team by team

Bill Connelly breaks down every team in the former Big East. Follow along!

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10 Total Updates since August 20, 2013
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Cincy's a big obstacle in the AAC

Cincinnati has been a top-30 team for six of the last seven years and gets Louisville at home to finish the season. Can the Bearcats kill the Cardinals' BCS dreams? And is Louisville even going to be the 11-0 team heading into that game? For more Cincy, visit Down the Drive.

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Houston's a promising mess

Fortunes aren't supposed to change rapidly (and change again and again) for most schools, but most schools aren't Houston. What can second-year head coach Tony Levine make of a team so young a year ago that it's still pretty young? Can the Cougars take advantage of a schedule built for wins?

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UConn sets the bar at 6 wins

With a hopeless offense and a fierce defensive front seven, UConn was basically a poor man's Rutgers last season. But like Rutgers, the Huskies have to hope the offense improves enough to offset some defensive regression coming down the pike. For more on the Huskies, visit The UConn Blog.

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A bold and daring new Rutgers

Rutgers takes the field in 2013 with quite a few former star recruits and perhaps more pure talent than it has had in recent history. But most of the star recruits are freshmen or sophomores, and most of the players you remember from last year are gone. What can we make of the most volatile, high-variance team in the AAC? For more Rutgers, visit On the Banks.

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SMU, transition, and the Raid 'n' Shoot

This feels like a transition year for SMU, with major turnover on the offensive line and defensive front seven and a quarterback who still doesn't quite seem to match the scheme. For now just let's just enjoy the June Jones-Hal Mumme partnership and look for fireworks in 2014.

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Fun? Good? Yes, but Louisville isn't elite

Louisville has improved dramatically in three years under Charlie Strong and should improve again in 2013. But let's tap the brakes a bit on the hype. For more Cardinals, visit Card Chronicle.

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USF, Taggart, and the Harbaugh Effect

Following his version of the Harbaugh Way, Willie Taggart created something out of nothing at Western Kentucky. Now he inherits a USF squad with potentially outstanding lines and serious question marks in the backfields. With competence at QB, the Bulls could win quite a few games this year. For more USF, visit Voodoo Five.

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UCF attempts to avoid a slip

No, UCF is not taking on a massive upgrade in its new conference. Still, it's a sign of accomplishment that the Knights are already one of the more stable programs in the American. The question for 2013 is whether they can avoid a bit of a defensive step backwards after the loss of some key pieces.

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Temple opens Act III

The seductive Steve Addazio was the head coach for what may have been Temple's best team ever in 2011, then oversaw a pretty significant decline in 2012, then left for Boston College. Can former Temple assistant Matt Rhule steer the Owls through a navigable slate and get them back to a bowl in 2013?

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Memphis looks to solidify gains

In Justin Fuente's first year as Memphis head coach, the defense came around in October, the offense came around in November, and the Tigers finished the year playing legitimately solid ball after a few years in the wilderness. The goal for 2013: solidify those gains. And hope the injury bug stays away from the defense.

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