NEWPORT, R.I. — Cincinnati has been picked to win the American Athletic Conference, with defending champion Central Florida second.
South Florida is picked to finish sixth.
The Bulls finished in eighth place in 2013, going 2-6 in conference and 2-10 overall in Willie Taggart’s first season as head coach. USF returns 16 starters.
The Bearcats went 9-4 last season under coach Tommy Tuberville and returns 16 starters. They received 17 of 30 first-place votes from the media panel and 311 points.
UCF, which went 12-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl last season, received seven first-place votes and 296 points. The Knights return 17 starters but must replace quarterback Blake Bortles.
Houston was picked third with six first-place votes, followed by conference newcomer East Carolina.
SMU was picked fifth, followed by USF, Memphis and Temple. UConn was tied for ninth with Tulane, also in its first season in the American.
Tulsa was picked last in its first season in the conference.
The vote was announced Tuesday at the conference’s preseason media day in Newport.