NEWPORT, R.I. -- Coming off a 3-9 season and a change at the head coaching position, the UConn football team was picked ninth out of 11 teams in the American Athletic Conference preseason football media poll announced on Tuesday.
The Huskies, now under rookie head coach Bob Diaco, received 98 points and were tied with Tulane. Only Tulsa received fewer votes. Last season UConn was picked to finish seventh out of 10.
Cincinnati was tabbed as the preseason favorite with 17 first-place votes. Defending conference champion Central Florida was second with seven first-place votes and Houston was third with six first-place votes.
East Carolina, SMU, South Florida, Memphis, Temple, UConn, Tulane and Tulsa rounded out the poll.
Cincinnati went 9-4 under Tommy Tuberville in his first season at the helm of the Bearcats and will return 16 starters for last year. George O’Leary’s UCF squad went 12-1, winning the AAC in 2013 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. Houston went 8-5 last year and will return 19 starters.
The poll was part of the AAC's second football media day. Proceedings were to begin at 9 a.m. with opening remarks from AAC commissioner Mike Aresco. There is no TV coverage, but you can follow on the web on ESPN3.
Bill Hancock, executive director of the college football playoff, will also make remarks and take questions.
Tulsa, Tulane and East Carolina join the AAC this year to form an 11-team league, which goes to 12 in 2015 when Navy comes aboard.
This is the first media day for Diaco as a head coach. Diaco, 42, was the defensive coordinator at Notre Dame the previous four years. In the past two seasons he was the assistant head coach for the Fighting Irish under Brian Kelly.
Senior wide receiver Geremy Davis, the first UConn receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in a season in the FBS era, and senior cornerback Byron Jones, who Diaco says will be one of the best at his position in America, will represent the Huskies.
The Huskies open the season Aug. 29 against BYU at Rentschler Field. The 7 p.m. game will be televised by ESPN.
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