Thursday, June 25, 2015

2015 College Football Preview: AAC

The American Athletic Conference is shifting to a new era in 2015, as Navy comes on to split the conference into two divisions, which provides the big league cash grab called a conference title game. Of course, with the AAC (former Big East) finding themselves on the outside of the NCAA power structure, it may not matter much. That being the case, would a conference title game in this league be all that interesting, and who, outside of the fan base of whichever two schools make it, will actually care about it?
That question aside, The six teams projected for bowl trips out of the AAC are all on solid footing, and Navy is a solid grab. Here is my look at the AAC heading into the 2015 season...

Projected Order of Finish

1. Cincinnati
2. East Carolina
3. UCF
4. Temple
5. USF
6. Connecticut

1. Memphis
2. Navy
3. Houston
4. Tulsa
5. SMU
6. Tulane

Pre-Season All Conference
QB Gunner , Cincinnati
QB Keenan Reynolds, Navy
QB Paxton Lynch, Memphis
RB Marlon Mack, USF
RB Kenneth Farrow, Houston
RB Zack Langer, Tulsa
WR Keevan Lucas, Tulsa
WR Keyaris Garrett, Tulsa
WR Isaiah Jones, East Carolina
WR Shaq Washington, Cincinnati
TE Alan Cross, Memphis

DL Derrick Alexander, Tulsa
DL Thomas Niles, UCF
DL Matt Ioannidis, Temple
DL Royce LaFrance, Tulane
LB Nico Marley, Tulane
LB Montese Overton, East Carolina
LB Zeek Bigger, East Carolina
LB Tyler Matekevich, Temple
DB Perry Nickerson, Tulane
DB Adrian McDonald, Houston
DB Josh Hawkins, East Carolina
DB Tavon Young, Temple

PK Andrew Gantz, Cincinnati
P Mattias Ciabatti, USF
KR Deion Sanders Jr., SMU

Team Previews

Cincinnati Bearcats
2014 Record: 9-4
2015 Projected Record: 9-3
Head Coach: Tommy Tuberville (18-8, 3rd season)

The Good News: Gunner Kiel is back at QB after tying a school record with 31 TDs in 2014. What's better is that he returns his top seven receivers from last season as well, including possession receiver Shaq Washington, and deep threats Mekale McCoy and Chris Moore. Both scored eight times last season, with Washington scoring four more. Parker Ehringer kicks out from OG to LT, and Justin Murray returns at RT. Deyshawn Bond is back at Center as well.
Defensively, the secondary returns almost intact with CB Grant Coleman, FS Andre Jones, and SS Zack Edwards.
Andrew Ganz is one of the best kickers in the nation, and hit 16 of 20 tries as a freshman in 2014.
The Bad News: On offense, the run game was a mess in 2014, with starting candidates Hosey Williams and Tion Green missing swaths of time. Sophomore Mike Boone could pass them both as he comes off a promising year in relief. Both OGs need replacing in the lineup, which shouldn't be difficult, but depth and experience on the bench for the OL is non-existent.
The defense was a disaster in 2014, having given up 30 or more points seven times last fall. Five spots need filling in the front seven (three DL and two LB), which isn't promising for improvement. This unit finished 96th overall last season, so there's very little room to get worse.
Punter Sam Geraci returns at Punter, but needs to lift his average beyond the paltry 39.4 yards per punt he exhibited as a freshman last season.
The Overview: Every team in the AAC has some questions, so the Bearcats are in a good spot to pull off nine wins overall after what is sure to be a bumpy start. Tommy Tuberville has never blown anyone away, but has done well by UC during his short tenure. A divisional title is possible in year one of the split format.

East Carolina Pirates
2014 Record: 8-5
2015 Projected Record: 8-4
Head Coach: Ruffin McNeill (37-27, 6th season)

The Good News: Despite serious losses, the offense should continue to run at a high pace in 2015 for a unit that finished 5th nationally in total defense. The staff has full confidence in new starting QB Kurt Benkert, and there is still plenty of talent to go around at WR, including Isaiah Jones, Davon Grayson, and incoming freshman Deondre Farrier, who was heavily recruited by Power Five schools. Add TE Bryce Williams into the mix in short yardage, and the Pirates should be in fine shape. Four starters return on the O Line, with a new starter needed at Center.
On defense, LB is a strength this season, as Zack Bigger and Montese Overton return to a unit that gave up just 111 yards rushing per game last fall (11th nationally).
Punter Worth Gregory returns after putting on a show to the tune of 43.6 yards per punt last season.
The Bad News: The run game was surprisingly strong in 2014, averaging 161 yards per game. That being said, the Pirates must find a new starter at RB this fall and will likely see both Chris Hairston and Anthony Scott getting carries.
The defense could suffer up on the line, as three new starters could be in place by week one.  Jonathon White is back at DE, but he may lose out to K'Hadree Hooker, a junior. Half of the strong LB unit must be replaced as well, with both spots coming on the WLB side of the field. The secondary is also rebuilding, with only CB Josh Hawkins returning, however he is a good one.
Warren Harvey is gone at PK after setting school records, and it will be up to Texas A&M transfer Davis Plowman to step up in his wake.
The Overview: As good as some of the returning talent is for ECU in 2015, their losses may be too deep to compete for a conference title this season. They may be in better position to walk away with the AAC crown in 2016, but anything can happen if the new guys gel quickly. One thing I have learned is that you never count ECU down and out.
Opening Game: 9/5 Towson

UCF Knights
2014 Record: 9-4
2015 Projected Record: 9-3
Head Coach: George O'Leary (81-60, 12th season)

The Good News: QB Justin Holman was a question coming into 2014, and now he is a strength, and after some early season bumps last season, he is due to break out big this fall. He passed for 23 TDs in replacing all earth QB Blake Bortles, and will have that shadow long gone. William Stanback, if healthy, could be one of the better backs in the AAC. He rushed for just over 600 yards last fall despite his injury issues. His health is paramount. The O line is loaded, with four starters returning, with only the LT spot up for grabs heading into the fall.
On defense, three starters return in Thomas Niles (DE), Demetrius Anderson (DT), and Luke Adams (DE). That is where the good news ends on D.
The Bad News: On offense, the Knights must hit reboot at WR and TE, replacing every single starter in the receiving corps. That is not good news for Holman, but it is thought that this unit will catch up fast.
The defense is largely starting from scratch at both LB and in the secondary, with only Chequan Burkett (a sophomore) returning at LB. Every other position must be replaced this fall. There is certainly talent coming into the fold, but it takes time for a unit to gel, especially with so many players having to get used to playing together at the same time for the first time.
Special teams will have a huge hole to fill with the departure of Shawn Moffitt, the best kicker in school history. Freshman Matthew Wright will give it a shot. The punting game was lagging, with returning starter Caleb Houston struggling to a tune of 38.9 yards per punt.
The Overview: That defense was so good in 2014 (5th nationally in total defense), but how do you replace so many starters in so short a time? Even if the kids that are coming in are solid, it will take some time to get back on the horse. Holman should elevate a new class of receivers on offense, but he must get more help from Stanback, who must stay healthy, as must Joey Grant (RG) who is coming back from off season surgery. The schedule is fairly weak overall, so UCF should pile up some weak sister wins to get back to the 9 win plateau, but they may not make it that far.
Opening Game: 9/3 Florida International

Temple Owls
2014 Record: 6-6
2015 Projected Record: 6-6
Head Coach: Matt Ruhle (8-16, 3rd season)

The Good News: The defense, which ranked 4th nationally in total defense, returns a load of talent in 2015. Every starter returns on the line in DEs Praise Martin-Oguike and Sharif French, and DTs Matt Ioannidis and Hershey Walton. The secondary is also loaded with all four starters back in Sean Chandler and Tavon Young at CB, and Will Hayes and Alex Wells at Safety. This unit ranked 13th nationally against the pass last season, and should have another solid season coming up. Tyler Matakevich is back at LB, and is one of the elite LBs in the country.
On offense, four players with starting experience return from a line that was racked with injuries in 2014, and the good news on offense ends right there.
The Bad News: Other than Matakevich at LB, two starters must be replaced. That is just nitpicking a unit that is otherwise one of the best in the nation.
The offense, on the other hand, was an abject disaster in 2014. PJ Walker is back at QB, but tossed 15 picks to just 13 TDs in 2014, and was all over the place in every other aspect of the game. John Christopher is the lone returnee at WR for Walker to throw to, and he was no prize last fall. That would be bad enough, but nobody ran for more than 384 yards last fall, and that is a huge problem. There is a stable of maybe five backs who could all see time this season, including touted freshman TJ Simmons, but someone has to step up and be the go to guy, and Temple does not have that guy right now.
Special teams is another area of shipwreck concern for the Owls, as PK Austin Jones hit just 13 of 22 FGs last fall, and missed at least one in each of the final five games last season. Alex Starzyk looks like a star at Punter one moment, and looks like a goat the next.
The Overview: Ruhle has made some advances in his stay at head coach, but he has to turn a corner soon, or Temple risks floating back to college football's land of irrelevance, where they were the main resident for decades. The schedule sets up to allow for a potential of six wins this fall, but that is no guarantee. They will have to finish strong in November to get there. That offense has to catch up to the defense, or else that unit will struggle to carry the load for a second consecutive seasons.
Opening Game: 9/5 Penn State

South Florida Bulls
2014 Record: 4-8
2015 Projected Record: 4-8
Head Coach: Willie Taggert (6-18, 3rd season)

The Good News: There isn't much to be had in Tampa so far under Willie Taggert. The offense is changing to a...gulp...spread attack. The only real positive on offense is RB Marlon Mack, the 2014 AAC rookie of the year. Mack rushed for 1041 yards and 9 scores last season, and the unit will have to ride his back this fall as well. Even with Mack, the Bulls still ranked just 114th nationally in rushing.
The LB unit should be the key to success on defense with four starter quality guys (Nigel Harris, Auggie Sanchez, Tashon Whitehurst, Jimmy Bayes) rolling into two spots. Two safeties return in Nate Godwin and Jamie Byrd.
Punter Mattias Ciabatti will return at Punter after averaging over 44 yards per kick last fall. He will get his work in this season for certain.
The Bad News: Where to start? The QB position is a huge mess for starters, with the situation still not settled heading into the fall. Quinton Flowers may be the guy. Every WR must be replaced, with only TE Sean Price returning as far as targets are concerned. Both tackles must be replaced, as will be the Center on the line.
The defense really took a dive in many ways last fall, and the fall could continue, especially up front, where three of four spots on the line need a new starter. Only DE Eric Lee returns. Both CBs must also be replaced in a secondary that ranked 51st against the pass, which was the strength of the defense a year ago.
Marvin Kloss is gone at PK, and that leaves a huge hole for Emilio Nadelman to fill.
The Overview: USF has just enough winnable games in 2015 to match their 2014 win total, but that is not saying much at all. Willie Taggert worked wonders at Western Kentucky before bolting for the gulf coast, but he hasn't shown the same magic in Tampa. If the Bulls don't show some improvement in some sense in 2015, this could be his final go.
Opening Game: 9/5 Florida A&M

Connecticut Huskies
2014 Record: 2-10
2015 Projected Record: 3-9
Head Coach: Bob Diaco (2-10, 2nd season)

The Good News: I'm sure we can find something here. The RB position should be a strength as new OC Frank Verducci will install a power run game offense for this season. Ron Johnson and Arkeel Newsome should feature nicely in such an offense as each brings something different to the table. I look for big improvements from both. Both tackles return in Andreas Knappe and Richard Levy, and there is promise at receiver in Noel Thomas and Thomas Lucas.
On defense, the secondary was solid against the pass, and returns three starters in Jhovan Williams, Obi Melifonwu, and Andrew Adams. LB Graham Stewart is a rising star and is disruptive at LB, and Marquise Vann is a tackling machine.
The Bad News: There is no real answer at QB heading into the fall for a position that ranked 111th last season. Bryant Sherriffs is likely the starter, but wasn't great when given an opportunity before. Although the receivers have some promise, they still need a guy to get the ball out to them for them to shine. That will be the challenge.
The defense, even though talent is there, still gave up almost 30 points per game last fall, and must toughen up.
The PK game is all over the place, and incumbent Bobby Puyol will be pushed hard by Michael Tarbutt. Justin Wain returns at Punter as well, but averaged just 38.8 yards per punt, although he did nail down 17 punts inside the 20.
The Overview: The Huskies are very much horrible. They have had zero identity on offense since Dan Orlovski left at QB several years ago, and things are not getting much better. The defense should be serviceable enough to keep the Huskies in some games, but that won't be enough. Look for some small improvements, but Diaco has a long way to go to get this thing going in the right direction.
Opening Game: 9/3 Villanova

Memphis Tigers
2014 Record: 10-3
2015 Projected Record: 8-4
Head Coach: Justin Fuente (17-20, 4th season)

The Good News: The Tigers escaped the land of the football dead last season, and Justin Fuente brought them to a brand new place where people can be proud of this once nearly dead program. On offense, the Tigers have an impressive trigger man with Paxton Lynch (3031 yards passing) leading the way. Lynch was a project that has paid off huge dividends with his development. With Brandon Hayes gone at RB, the Tigers turn to Doroland Dorceus and Jarvis Cooper to carry the load. Cooper,  a bruising power back, is more of the sure thing variety with Dorceus coming back from missing most of last season with injuries, but the staff is solid on both. Mose Frazier returns after leading the Tigers in receiving last season, and Tevin Jones will be back as the fourth receiver after receiving starting experience last fall. What's even better is that all conference TE Alan Cross is back, and that's huge. The entire left side of the line returns as well, from Center to LT.
Jackson Dillon returns at OLB/DE, and led the team in TFLs last fall, but that is where the good news on D ends.
Jake Elliott is back at PK, and has a cannon of a leg, as evidenced by the 54 yarder he hit in the bowl win over BYU. Fuente and staff believe that they have two starting caliber Punters onboard in Spencer Smith and Nick Jacobs.
The Bad News: Where Frazier and Jones are back at WR, there are two gaping holes at the position to fill, and depth isn't great at WR. The entire right side of the line is in rebuild mode, and sophomore Zack Collins is penciled in at RG. As much as the coaches like their RBs publicly, Dorceus' injury concerns are huge, and again, depth could be a problem there.
The entire defense is essentially in rebuild mode, with eight new starters and a coordinator getting broken in this fall after DC Barry Odom left for Missouri. Galen Scott was promoted for continuity, which was smart, but he has his work cut out.
The Overview: 2014 brought the first Tiger team to win 10 games since 1938, and the winning should continue for the immediate future. The key is locking down Fuente to prevent him from jumping to  bigger program with more resources. Look for a bit of a slip backwards this season, but eight wins should be enough to win the AAC West.
First Game: 9/5 Missouri State

Navy Midshipmen
2014 Record: 8-5
2015 Projected Record: 9-3
Head Coach: Ken Niumatalolo (57-35, 8th season)

The Good News: Keenan Reynolds, Keenan Reynolds, and more Keenan Reynolds. That we get one more season of watching him run the triple option at Navy is a gift for every fan of college football. No running QB is more electrifying in the game today. Reynolds is the all time leader in rushing TDs by a QB with 64, and he will beyond further that mark this season. Chris Swain steps in at FB for the Middies, and rushed for 693 yards as a part timer last season. The job is all his now. SB DeBrandon Sanders is a flashy back who could compliment the run and pass game nicely. He's a big play threat every time he touches the football. Jamir Tillman is a huge receiver with great reach and solid hands, and will be the go to guy in the passing game. LG EK Binns is back once again, and should anchor what will largely be a rebuilt line.
NG Bernard Sarra is a perfect fit in the 3-4 scheme, and will hold at the point. Will Anthony should see plenty of opportunity to make plays with Sarra holding up the point of attack. Daniel Gonzalez returns at ILB after picking 86 stops last fall, and will be counted on to lead the group in the middle. The secondary is largely intact, with CBs Quincy Adams and Brendan Clements returning, as is SS Kwazel Bertrand. Navy was solid against the pass last fall, ranking 31st against the pass nationally.
Austin Grebe grabbed the PK job late in the season, and returns for a full season at the job. He was perfect in limited opportunities last season.
The Bad News: As good as the offense probably will be, there are still a ton of holes to fix in the lineup, with the entire backfield other than Reynolds, no matter how talented, must gel as a starting unit together for the first time. The Middies are looking for new starters at LT, C, and RG as well. The receiving corps, other than Tillman, also must be brought along into increased roles.
The defense is largely solid, but LB is an issue, as three of four starters must be replaced. William Tuiden is most likely going to start at OLB, and he did see some time in a reserve role last fall.
Navy must also replace P Pablo Beltran, who has graduated.
The Overview: Navy has some holes to fill for certain, but Ken Niumotololo has always found parts to keep this club running straight ahead. AAC opponents will have fits in the first season of defending the triple option attack, which will give Navy a head up advantage. Look for Keenan Reynolds to go out with a bang as a senior, and Navy could steal their first conference title in their first season if things bounce right.
First Game: 9/5 Colgate

Houston Cougars
2014 Record: 8-5
2015 Projected Record: 7-5
Head Coach: Tom Herman (1st season)

The Good News: The hiring of Herman, the Ohio State OC during their title run last season, was probably one of the smarter hires last fall on paper. Herman will find a way to amp up an offense that has slid in energy the last couple of seasons under Tony Levine, who never really seemed to be the right fit.
Kenneth Farrow gives the Cougars a solid option in the run game after rushing for 1037 yards and scoring 15 total TDs in 2014. Ryan Jackson serves as the scatback change of pace guy, so Houston should be fine at RB, especially with the additions of incoming freshmen Tyreik Gray and Kevin Justice. Other than that, the offense has more questions than answers heading into 2015.
On defense, the entire secondary returns in CBs Brendan Wilson and William Jackson, and Safeties Adrian McDonald and Trevon Stewart. This unot ranked 27th nationally against the pass last season, and should improve on that, if they can get support from a rebuilt front seven. LB Steven Taylor and DE BJ Singleton are the only returnees up front.
PK Kyle Bullard returns after hitting 16 FGs last fall, and Logan Piper is locked down at Punter.
The Bad News: Herman is going to have to put the pieces together in a rebuild job this season on offense. Greg Ward returns after playing splendidly late against Pitt in the bowl win, but he is being pushed by Utah transfer Adam Schulz. That's not great news, considering that the battle could not be settled in the spring. The receiving corps, led by Demarcus Ayers, is woefully inexperienced, and depth is severely lacking. Whomever wins the QB job will have to bring this group together quickly, or the season could get ugly fast.
The defense was strong last fall, finishing 20th in total defense, but the front seven is in tatters, and the staff has to find five new starters between the line and at LB. That could expose a secondary that has been great by wearing them down quickly as inexperience flails at the point of attack.
On special teams, the Cougars were abysmal last season, and Herman is opening up all return positions in the fall. Houston finished dead last in the AAC in the return game.
The Overview: Some feel the UH is in position to win the AAC in Herman's first year of coaching. I call that mentality a reach. Houston has too many questions on offense, and they may not all be answered by year end, and the front seven on defense is a project right now. Those two issues could make a season come undone early on. Expect a few bumps, and expect no more than seven wins.
First Game: 9/5 Tennessee Tech

Tulsa Golden Hurricane
2014 Record: 2-10
2015 Projected Record: 5-7
Head Coach: Phillip Montgomery (1st season)

The Good News: Expect some excitement to get back into Tulsa football this season with the genius hiring of former Baylor OC Phil Montgomery. Montgomery will institute his Baylor spread attack immediately, and he's lucky to have his trigger men that can run it in QBs Dane Evans and freshman Chad President. The likelihood is that Evans starts the season, and President takes the job at some point eventually. He is the future of the program at QB, although Evans is no slouch (258.5 yards per game in 2014). Zack Langer returns at RB, and should give Tulsa an extra boost on the ground after averaging 80 yards per game in 2014. WRs Keevan Lucas and Keyarris Grant should explode in 2015, making their QBs very happy to be here. Josh Atkinson gives Tulsa one more option at WR as well. There is more good news, as four starters return on the line heading into the season.
The defense was a mess in 2014, and must be rebuilt in most areas. Bill Young has been hired to come in and clean up the mess, and that move alone gives some confidence. Derrick Alexander is a beast at DE, and will serve as a foundation on the line. Jerry Uwaezuoke and Derrick Leutjen (both DTs) return as well to give some stability up front. Trent Martin and Craig Suits were promising last fall at LB, so there is something to build on as well. Michael Mudoh returns at Safety after recording 113 tackles last season.
Dalton Parks (42 yards per punt) returns and will be a very nice weapon in the arsenal as well.
The Bad News: Langer was solid at RB last season, but the run game ranked just 87th nationally, and the offense finished just 91st in scoring, which will two primary focus points in the fall.
The secondary is in rebuild mode, but the entire defense ranked just 114th in total D last fall anyway, so how bad can a rebuild be? That secondary ranked just 113th against the pass, and Tulsa finished 119th in scoring, giving up 39 points per game. Nowhere to go but up there. The PK game is a huge question, with Preston Soper and Redford Jones battling into the fall.
The Overview: Expect a bit of a bounce back for Tulsa in 2015, with as many as five wins possible after two miserable seasons under Bill Blankenship. Montgomery was an excellent and energetic choice to run this program, and I see a resurgence coming sooner rather than later. Expect a bowl in 2016, and a run for a conference title the year after.
First Game: 9/5 Florida Atlantic

SMU Mustangs
2014 Record: 1-11
2015 Projected Record: 2-10
Head Coach: Chad Morris (1st season)

Good News: For a football team as bad as SMU has been, a splashy hire in Chad Morris is a great place to start. Morris has an understanding of the football landscape in Texas, and should improve on relationships that went south under the watch of June Jones.
Chad Morris is a fan of his QB Matt Davis, whom he believes will get the offense going through the air and on the ground. Davis is a big run threat, but will be operating out of a new offense this fall.
Morris loves his RB group as well, and plans to use a more traditional two back set with multiple looks, but he must find one or two to step up and lead. The left side of the line is back, including Center Taylor Lasecki, and RT Kris Weeks will be back as well. With a line returning mostly intact, the Mustangs have somewhere to build from.
Shakiel Randolph will finally have a position to call home after several position changes throughout his career. He will play the STAR position in the new defense under DC Van Malone. WLB Jonathon Yenga is a disruptive beast after wrapping up 15.5 TFLs last fall. The Tackles are set up front in Zack Wood and Mason Gentry. Robert Seals started at DE at the end of last season, but has slid back to second team. That will provide depth off of the bench.
Deion Sanders Jr. is just like his Dad when it comes to returning kicks, and will be a major weapon on special teams.
The Bad News: Inexperience at RB will be a problem early until someone settles into the role of being the A Back. THe same problem will plague SMU at WR, as only one starter returns. The Mustangs plan to start a sophomore (Ryheem Malone) and a freshman (Courtland Sutton) at WR, so experience is an issue.
The defense ranked 119th in total D last fall, so even though this unit has some playmakers, it has some work to do as well. Horace Richardson and Darrion Richardson both return in the secondary, but the other half will be new. Youth and talent are coming, but it will take a while to take hold.
The Mustangs are also going young at PK, with freshman Josh Williams coming on after a solid high school career.
The Overview: Morris was by far the right hire for SMU, but he has to figure out all the pieces to this puzzle before the winning will reflect the hire. The Mustangs stuck with high school kids for their top recruiting spots, and that was smart, and shows that there will be no shortcuts while rebuilding. The offense must get used to a new scheme, as will the defense, and there are far more questions than answers right now. Stay tuned.
First Game: 9/4 Baylor

Tulane Green Wave
2014 Record: 3-9
2015 Projected Record: 3-9
Head Coach: Curtis Johnson (12-25, 4th season)

The Good News: The line will return four starters, which is good for development from a unit that was largely terrible a year ago. Three of these guys were sophomores last season, but are now battle tested juniors. The running game isn't bad at all, with Sherman Badie, Lazedrick Thompson, and Dontrell Hilliard forming up a power trio. After that, the offense is a disaster.
On defense, the strength should once again be up front on the line as three starters return in DE Royce LaFrance, and DTs Tanzel Smart and Sean Wilson. Undersized Nico Marley is also back at LB, and is a star in the AAC. There are a couple of nice pieces in the secondary in CB Parry Nickerson and S Darion Moore. One note, LaFrance is iffy entering the fall, as academics took their toll on him, causing him to be out all spring.
The Bad News: The offense is largely a disaster returning. Tanner Lee is back at QB, but was mostly a mess last fall, tossing just 12 TD passes against 14 picks. HIs WR corps was young, and starters rotated like a carousel. Nobody has enough experience to step up as a leader. This unit scored 14 points or less in eight of their final nine games last fall.
The defense must get LaFrance back up front to be able to control the edge. If academics keep him sidelined again, the Wave could be in trouble off the edge all season long. The secondary is largely being rebuilt outside of Nickerson and Moore, and that could spell trouble as well.
On special teams, the kicking game was a bottomless pit last season, so new starters must be found at both PK and P.
The Overview: The heat is on for Curtis Johnson, who has not been able to get anything going at Tulane, despite a new administration commitment to the sport. There is a new stadium, and butts must fit in the seats in order to make this work. Continued losing will not help that happen. The outlook is bleak this season, and Johnson may struggle to get a fifth year if that happens.
First Game: 9/3 Duke

Next Preview: Conference USA

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