Sports

UCF Football Picked to Repeat Championship

Preseason favorite UCF returns 14 starters from the unforgettable 2017 season.

By UCF Athletics |
July 26, 2018

photo of ucf football player Taj McGowan

UCF was selected as the favorite in the American Athletic Conference 2018 preseason media poll.

The hype around the UCF football team is picking up right where it left off after the squad’s undefeated season. As the reigning American Athletic Conference champions, the Knights have been selected to repeat as the league’s No. 1 team in The American’s 2018 preseason media poll, which was released this week.

UCF received 19 of a possible 30 votes to win the conference trophy, while the Knights were listed first on 25 ballots in the East Division race. Memphis — who the Knights beat in an overtime thriller in last year’s conference championship at Spectrum Stadium — was once again the media’s choice in the West Division as the Tigers received 23 first-place votes and 171 points.

UCF finished the 2017 season as the only unbeaten team in the nation (13-0) and celebrated a national championship after the Knights were ranked No. 1 in the final Colley Matrix. The Knights were ranked No. 6 in the final Associated Press poll last year after capping the season with a 34-27 win against Auburn in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl.

New head coach Josh Heupel finds 14 returning starters from last season, including quarterback McKenzie Milton, who finished eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting in 2017. The Heisman Trophy is recognized as the most prestigious award in college football.

The Knights open the season on Aug. 30 at UConn at 7 p.m. on ESPNU. UCF holds its first of seven home games this year on Sept. 8 against South Carolina State at 6 p.m. To see the full schedule, please visit ucfknights.com.

The fourth American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 1, at the home site of the division champion with the best conference record.

2018 American Athletic Conference Preseason Media Poll
The American Championship (First Place Votes)
1. UCF (19)
2. Memphis (7)
3. USF (3)
4. Houston (1)

East Division (First Place Votes / Points)
1. UCF (25 / 175)
2. USF (5 / 140)
3. Temple (0 / 132)
4. Cincinnati (0 / 91)
5. UConn (0 / 51)
6. ECU (0 / 41)

West Division (First Place Votes / Points)
1. Memphis (23 / 171)
2. Houston (4 / 146)
3. Navy (3 / 129)
4. SMU (0 / 72)
5. Tulane (0 / 68)
6. Tulsa (0 / 44)