NEWPORT, R.I. (AP) — Central Florida has been picked to win the American Athletic Conference and face Memphis in the championship game for a third straight season.
UCF was the top choice among media members to win the East Division and the league when the American released its preseason poll Tuesday at conference media day. The Knights received 19 of 30 first-place votes to win the East and 12 of 30 to win the conference.
Memphis is favored to win the West Division over Houston. The Tigers received 15 first-place votes and 165 points. Houston, in its first season under coach Dana Holgorsen, had 14 and 162.
USF was picked third in the East, followed by Temple, ECU and UConn. Tulane was picked behind third in the West followed by SMU, Navy and Tulsa.
The American also announced its bowl lineup for the 2020-25 seasons. The conference is guaranteed seven bowl slots each year, including one in a new game to be played at Fenway Park in Boston against the Atlantic Coast Conference.
The American will annually send a team to the Military Bowl in Annapolis, Maryland, and alternate sending a team to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas, and the Hawaii Bowl.
The conference also has agreements with a pool of eight bowl games that will host as many as four AAC teams annually.
Those games are: Birmingham Bowl; Gasparilla Bowl in Tampa, Florida; First Responder Bowl in Dallas; Boca Raton (Florida) Bowl; Frisco (Texas) Bowl; Cure Bowl in Orlando, Florida; Myrtle Beach (South Carolina) Bowl; and New Mexico Bowl.
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