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2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
We're getting warmer Bearcat Football Fans! Thought I'd plant a new thread for the AAC Media Days summer kickoff event starting tomorrow up yonder in Rhode Island. Please share any information or articles that you come across including if any of you have access to the American Digital Network that is covering the event live. To my surprise, CBSSports Online has an article related to the AAC Media Days I've linked below in addition to the conference link:

Quote:Live coverage of The American’s Summer Kickoff and Media Days will begin Monday, July 23, at 7 p.m. ET, as the American Digital Network originates from the event’s signature New England-style clambake. Hali Oughton will be joined by Andy Katz for coverage of one of the most highly anticipated events on the college football calendar and the announcement of The American’s Fifth Anniversary Team.

Coverage continues Tuesday, July 24 on the American Digital Network with the announcement of the conference’s preseason media poll. Commissioner Mike Aresco will give his annual remarks at 9 a.m., while Negandhi will moderate a series of roundtable discussions with The American’s head coaches through the morning. Hali Oughton and Andy Gresh will anchor the Tuesday coverage.

ESPN3 will have interviews with Commissioner Aresco and the league’s head coaches Monday afternoon. Matt Schick and Matt Chatham will anchor ESPN’s coverage. SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio (channel 84) will originate live from Newport during the event as well.

Cincinnati Attendees:
Head Coach Luke Fickell
Cortez Broughton DT
Garrett Campbell OL
Marquise Copeland DT

Conference Media Days Schedule

Quote:2018 AAC Media Days: Five storylines that could spice up the conversation in Providence

The American Athletic Conference has a lot of brag about these days. The league enjoyed the fruits of UCF's Peach Bowl win over Auburn and claimed" national championship" in 2017. There's also a ton of star power returning for the 2018 season. The AAC is the only FBS conference that brings back its three players of the year -- UCF quarterback McKenzie Milton, Houston defensive lineman Ed Oliver, Memphis running back Tony Pollard -- from 2017.

That should make the AAC Media Days on Monday and Tuesday that much more interesting. The conference is expected to enter the upcoming season with at least one New Year's Six bowl contender (UCF) and another two to three top-25 teams. With full days ahead July 23-24, here are the stories and questions we've got before the festivities get underway.

1. How UCF is preparing for the season: The whole alternate-universe national title thing with UCF lost its charisma a few months back, so thank goodness the season is right around the corner. With that comes new expectations, and boy, are they high. Last year, the Knights were much further ahead of where former coach Scott Frost thought they'd be. This time around they're not sneaking up on anyone. A New Year's Six bowl berth is the realistic goal -- a College Football Playoff spot, while a pipe dream, is what this school wants more than anything -- and Milton should garner some Group of Five Heisman buzz a la Colt Brennan or Jordan Lynch of years past.

The wild card is first-year (and first-time) coach Josh Heupel. Can he pick up where Frost left off with another AAC title and a major bowl appearance? The good news is he inherits a team ready to win right away. Beyond Milton, there's still a lot of upperclassman experience in the starting 22 with younger players filling out the two-deep.

2. Ed Oliver gets ready for his final go-around: The AAC has its share of great players, but Oliver, Houston's All-American defensive lineman, is the conference's bona fide stud. He's already announced his intention in March to declare next year and could be the No. 1 overall pick. There's no doubt he should be getting paid for what he does, nor is there any sense in waiting to tell everyone what they already know. Best to get it out of the way now.

With that, though, comes extra attention and scrutiny. A lot of media members haven't had a chance to ask him about his decision and how it will affect the upcoming season. Oliver may not think it will affect his performance -- if anything, it probably feels like a weight off of his shoulders -- but there will be more eyes on him than ever. Media days will be a preview of the circus that will undoubtedly follow Oliver through the better part of the next year -- and potentially beyond. Welcome to the big boy show, Ed. You're the attraction.

3. Where's the offensive firepower for Memphis? Pollard will be in attendance, but there's a notable lack of big names for the Tigers at media days. No surprise there as Memphis lost a ton of weapons off of the 2017 team. There's no lack of interesting storylines, however. Junior Brady White and sophomore David Moore are in a tight competition to be the starting quarterback; will coach Mike Norvell shed any light, directly or indirectly, on where that competition stands?

And who steps up for the departed Anthony Miller at wide receiver? Sophomore Damonte Coxie feels like the natural answer given his 21 receptions and three touchdowns last season. There's plenty of potential with this offense and it certainly helps that the veteran offensive line, anchored by center Drew Kyser, has more than 100 starts on its resume. The name recognition just isn't there yet.

4. Sonny Dykes 2.0: The AAC has been a good landing spot for coaches seeking a fresh start. Charlie Strong found instant success at South Florida. Randy Edsall is back at UConn to rebuild what he started years ago in the Big East. Maybe SMU is just what Dykes needs to get his coaching career kick-started again after an unsuccessful stint at Cal. And the fit couldn't be better.

But will Dykes' first full season get off to a rough start? The West division is loaded and the front half of SMU's schedule (at UNT, vs. TCU, at Michigan, vs. Navy, at UCF) is particularly brutal. The Mustangs are built to score, but will there be enough defense to get this team to bowl eligibility? If nothing else, Dykes has one of the more intriguing teams in the conference.

5. Which team will be this year's UCF? South Florida garnered all 30 first-place votes to win the AAC East last year and was the overwhelming favorite to win the conference championship. Then UCF came along and went undefeated. The Knights will be the favorites to win the conference this year, but can anyone else pull off the unexpected? Temple won four of its last five games last year and returns an exciting quarterback in Frank Nutile. In the West, Navy gets two of its toughest divisional games (Memphis and Houston) at home. UCF and Memphis will be the early favorites to get back to the AAC title, but there are some interesting under-the-radar teams who could surprise.

Conference Storylines
 
(This post was last modified: 07-22-2018 04:20 PM by UCGrad1992.)
07-22-2018 04:18 PM
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OKIcat Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
AAC Media Days in Rhode Island would be like the Reds starting their winter caravan in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our former "Big East" leadership must have had a sweetheart deal with some leasing agent to still be stuck in that deal in a state with no conference member team. Hopefully, the AAC will be moving on soon to a new home.

With that said, it's always exciting when these dates arrive. It marks the beginning of college football inching toward center stage in the annual cycle of sports. I'm excited (and hopeful) to see real progress in year two of the Coach Fickell era and it can't come soon enough. And focusing on the team's development sure beats the usual summer fare on discussion boards: notches, FCC revenue to UC, realignment, etc.. Go 'Cats!
 
07-23-2018 07:10 AM
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
(07-23-2018 07:10 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  AAC Media Days in Rhode Island would be like the Reds starting their winter caravan in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our former "Big East" leadership must have had a sweetheart deal with some leasing agent to still be stuck in that deal in a state with no conference member team. Hopefully, the AAC will be moving on soon to a new home.

It's moving next year, if I remember correctly to Dallas.
 
07-23-2018 07:55 AM
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Bearcatdh58 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
(07-23-2018 07:10 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  AAC Media Days in Rhode Island would be like the Reds starting their winter caravan in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our former "Big East" leadership must have had a sweetheart deal with some leasing agent to still be stuck in that deal in a state with no conference member team. Hopefully, the AAC will be moving on soon to a new home.

With that said, it's always exciting when these dates arrive. It marks the beginning of college football inching toward center stage in the annual cycle of sports. I'm excited (and hopeful) to see real progress in year two of the Coach Fickell era and it can't come soon enough. And focusing on the team's development sure beats the usual summer fare on discussion boards: notches, FCC revenue to UC, realignment, etc.. Go 'Cats!
AAC Conference office moved to Dallas Fort Worth in two years.

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07-23-2018 08:39 AM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
Yes it would be nice if they had this event more centrally located. I think the operative word is "Media Days" and not AAC Fan Days.
FWIW, it's 932 miles to Dallas from ZinzinatUH and only 826 to Providence LOL.
 
(This post was last modified: 07-23-2018 09:09 AM by UCGrad1992.)
07-23-2018 09:08 AM
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bearcatfan Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
From the article it sounds like Coach Fickell and the UC players won't be bothered by the media too much.

03-wink
 
07-23-2018 09:25 AM
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bearcatmark Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
I mean if you're in the media you'd probably rather go to Rhode Island in Mid July than Dallas or Houston. Everyone is flying anyways so what does it matter.
 
07-23-2018 09:56 AM
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doss2 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
(07-23-2018 09:08 AM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  Yes it would be nice if they had this event more centrally located. I think the operative word is "Media Days" and not AAC Fan Days.
FWIW, it's 932 miles to Dallas from ZinzinatUH and only 826 to Providence LOL.


How about moving it around?
 
07-23-2018 09:58 AM
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doss2 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
CFN has:

Realistic Best 8-4

Realistic Worst 5-7
 
07-23-2018 12:50 PM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
AAC Media Days article from Tom Groeschen with an embedded video:

Quote:The Bearcats are coming off of two consecutive 4-8 seasons. Athlon Sports predicts that the Bearcats again will go 4-8 and will finish fourth in the AAC East with a 3-5 league record.

The ESPN FPI (Football Power Index) is more confident in UC, seeing the Bearcats finishing between 5.9 and 6.2 wins. That would round off to a 6-6 record, which would mean the program's first bowl game since 2015.

Athlon picks Central Florida to win the AAC East and Memphis to win the West, with UCF winning the title game.

"I'm not real high on polls," Fickell said. "Sometimes perception is a reality. It's a great shot of reality sometimes. It's a motivator. If they pick us low, then obviously we've got to do better and play above our ability. If they pick you high, you've got to change the mindset so some guys don't get complacent.

"I look at polls as, where is the talent level? If we're picked low they might believe we don't have the talent. Our whole focus here anyway is, how do we play above our talent?"

GETTING CLOSE: UC players will report for practice Aug. 2, with the first workouts Aug. 3-5 on campus. The Bearcats then will head to Camp Higher Ground (West Harrison, Indiana) for their annual two-week stay.

Is It September 1st Yet?
 
07-23-2018 01:43 PM
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BearcatJerry Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
(07-23-2018 07:10 AM)OKIcat Wrote:  AAC Media Days in Rhode Island would be like the Reds starting their winter caravan in Fairbanks, Alaska. Our former "Big East" leadership must have had a sweetheart deal with some leasing agent to still be stuck in that deal in a state with no conference member team. Hopefully, the AAC will be moving on soon to a new home.

With that said, it's always exciting when these dates arrive. It marks the beginning of college football inching toward center stage in the annual cycle of sports. I'm excited (and hopeful) to see real progress in year two of the Coach Fickell era and it can't come soon enough. And focusing on the team's development sure beats the usual summer fare on discussion boards: notches, FCC revenue to UC, realignment, etc.. Go 'Cats!

Yes... The Conference "got" the deal on the Conference offices when the Big East split up. As memory serves, both Providence and Rhode Island had given the (Big East) Conference to keep their HQ in Providence and the BE had just spent major $$$ remodeling the Conference HQ and offices and signed a long-term lease on the space before the BE split up. The AAC got the Office Space in the deal which was important, at the time because we were still jockeying over the name and the future Conference vision; if we were going to continue using the name "Big East" then it made a lot of sense to keep the old address.


We might as well face it, though... We are not in an "Eastern" conference any more; the AAC is a "Southern" and "Western" conference. The Conference offices moving to Dallas (more likely Fort Worth) is an indication that the "Eastern" orientation of the Big East is a thing of the past.
 
07-24-2018 08:56 AM
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
I think in large part this season will be decided by how well they can run the ball. I expect the defense will be improved and definitely more athletic and deeper. However, if we cannot run the ball it will put a lot of pressure on Moore to create and that's where he tends to get in trouble. We've got the backs, but the guys up front are a question mark.
 
07-24-2018 09:33 AM
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
Starting to see some articles trickling out. I'm sure videos will be released in the coming days as well.

Quote:AAC chief: Conference will ‘never surrender’ its Power Six push

The head of the American Athletic Conference unleashed analogies both colonial and contemporary in continuing to push his "Power Six" narrative Tuesday.

Speaking at the opening of the conference's media day in Newport, R.I., Commissioner Mike Aresco remained unabashed — and a tad unconventional — in insisting his 5-year-old league warrants recognition as the sixth power conference.

"I like to use the analogy: We can be JetBlue, which is a major carrier, but it's clearly different than a United or a Delta or an American," Aresco said. "I think the comparison's apt because we're a major conference but we do things a bit different.

"We recruit a little bit differently, we hire coaches differently, we schedule a bit differently. Witness our Thursday and Friday football schedules on ESPN, which has given us tremendous national exposure. But in many of the key ways that matter, we're alike."

Among the likenesses pointed out by Aresco: His schools pay cost of attendance for student-athletes, enjoy similar TV exposure and mostly have competed well against Power Five opponents (i.e. three New Year's Six victories, a men's national hoops title, three women's titles) in the last half-decade.

The glaring disparity: per-school television revenue, where the AAC lags woefully behind the Power Five.

Aresco said his league, which reportedly will generate slightly more than $20 million in TV revenue this year, intends to remedy that in its upcoming media-rights negotiations. Its current deal expires next July.

"We're never going to surrender to the naysayers, and they're always going to be with us," Aresco said.

"These same skeptics likely would not have given George Washington and the Colonial Army a chance against the mighty British either, and we all know how that one turned out. The only failure on our part that would ever concern me would be the failure to strive."

Tampa Bay Times
 
07-24-2018 10:29 AM
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
From the Enquirer:

Quote:Cincinnati Bearcats picked to finish 4th in preseason AAC East football poll

The University of Cincinnati was picked to finish fourth in American Athletic Conference East Division preseason media poll here Tuesday morning, part of the league's annual media days.

Media days began Monday night with the league's annual clambake at Gurney's Newport Resort and Marina.

"You can use it two different ways," second-year UC coach Luke Fickell said of the 2018 poll. "For us, we use it as motivation. Just to say, hey, this is where people see us and this is where we've got to continue to improve and where we want to be."

UC is coming off of back-to-back 4-8 seasons, including a 2-6 league record which tied the Bearcats for fourth in the AAC East in 2017.

"It really comes down to where you are at the end of the year," Fickell said. "If we're playing our best ball at the end of the year, we'll be in a lot better shape than what people even think. I feel a lot better about what it is that we're doing."

UC returns 14 starters from last season, including incumbent senior starter Hayden Moore at quarterback. Moore last season completed 239 of 424 passes (56.4 percent) for 2,562 yards, with 20 touchdown passes and nine interceptions.

Senior left guard Garrett Campbell (St. Xavier High School) will lead an offensive line that returns only two starters, lacks upperclass depth but has promise with some developing youngsters.

Defensively, UC will be led by stalwart tackles in seniors Marquise Copeland and Cortez Broughton. Copeland was AAC honorable mention last season, while Broughton was second-team team All-AAC in 2016.

UC also returns its lone first-team All-AAC pick last year, sophomore punter James Smith.

"The first season was a whirlwind," Fickell said. "In the midst of all that, it's all about the development of football players, and focusing on how to get them to play above their God-given abilities on Saturdays."

PLAYERS REACT: Campbell, Broughton and Copeland represented UC at media days here in Newport along with Fickell. All were decked out in dark suits and ties.

What do the players think of being picked fourth in the AAC East?

Copeland: "I feel like it's based off of last year. Working hard all this offseason, it will be shown that we won't be finishing fourth this year. I think it's all based off of last year."

Campbell: "There's a lot of times in my life that I've been counted as an underdog. As a walk-on and as someone who (UC medical staff) has tried to medically disqualify twice, I'm used to it. Time and time again I know I've personally proved people wrong, and I think as a team our mentality this year is to do that exact same thing."

Broughton: "I think we're really underestimated. This year coming up, I feel like it's going to be something special. Every day we're grinding, putting in extra effort. Everybody is right, everybody's on time. Everybody's perfect."

What would constitute a good season this year? Getting back to a bowl game for the first time since 2015, or more?

Copeland: "The goal is to do the little things right, starting by being a good teammate off the field. Then you start to do the on-the-field stuff better. Then we'll start to win, get to a bowl game, win conference games, playoffs. Our main goal is to get better as a team."

Campbell: "We're going to kind of embody the underdog essence. King of bring it to light, and show people that we are competitors and that we can win this conference."

Broughton: "A bowl game is always one of the main goals, but a conference championship, that's the only thing we're looking at. I know it might seem baffling for someone who sees us last year going 4-8. Anything is possible. Aim high."

RECRUITING WATCH: UC has gone 8-16 during the past two years, but things appear brighter long-term. Multiple recruiting services rated the 2018 UC class No. 1 in the AAC and tops among Group of Five schools. For the 2019 class, the Bearcats are currently ranked No. 4 in the AAC by 247Sports.com.

2018 AAC MEDIA POLL:

East

(Place-Team-1st place votes-Points)

1. UCF (25) 175

2. USF (5) 140

3. Temple 132

4. Cincinnati 91

5. UConn 51

6. ECU 41

West

1. Memphis (23) 171

2. Houston (4) 146

3. Navy (3) 129

4. SMU 72

5. Tulane 68

6. Tulsa 44

American Championship

Team-Points

UCF 19

Memphis 7

USF 3

Houston 1

UCF was picked as the favorite to win the league title game, with 19 of 30 media selectors choosing the Knights.

UC's Lefeld named to All-AAC 5th Anniversary team

Ex-Bearcat Barwin, Giants reach deal

GEARING UP: UC players will report for practice Aug. 2, with the first workouts Aug. 3-5 on campus. The Bearcats then will head to Camp Higher Ground (West Harrison, Indiana) for their annual two-week stay.

The season opener is Saturday, Sept. 1 at UCLA in the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California (7 p.m. ET, ESPN).

We Have Work To Do
 
07-24-2018 10:36 AM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island



 
07-24-2018 10:38 AM
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UCGrad1992 Offline
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
CLF comments begin at the 47:50 mark immediately followed by Commissioner Aresco...


 
(This post was last modified: 07-24-2018 02:54 PM by UCGrad1992.)
07-24-2018 02:44 PM
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RE: 2018 AAC Football Media Days: July 23-24, Providence/Newport, Rhode Island
(07-24-2018 02:44 PM)UCGrad1992 Wrote:  CLF comments begin at the 47:50 mark immediately followed by Commissioner Aresco...



Thanks for posting.
 
07-24-2018 03:06 PM
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