Football 2019: AAC wants to keep making power points

In the West, prognosticators are split between Memphis and Houston. The Tigers return quarterback Brady White (3,296 yards, 26 touchdowns) and will replace 1,900-yard rusher Darrell Henderson with Atascocita native Patrick Taylor Jr. UH is not expected to skip a beat offensively with the return of dual-threat quarterback D’Eriq King and a cast of playmakers that includes the receiving trio of Marquez Stevenson, Keith Corbin and Courtney Lark, who combined for more than 2,200 yards and 24 TDs. But can the Cougars stop anybody after ranking among the worst defenses in the nation?

“Being picked second, especially for me and hopefully my teammates, I’m going to make sure that’s motivation going into the season,” King said.

The AAC has a chance to make an early splash. Among the matchups during the opening weekend: UCLA at Cincinnati, Mississippi at Memphis, and Houston at Oklahoma.

“I challenge anyone to tell me that this is not Power Six scheduling or to tell me we won’t be extremely competitive in these games,” Aresco said.


Navy joined the league as a football-only member back in 2015 and coach Ken Niumatalolo remembers those early days when the league was still trying to establish itself, sitting in meetings with former UCF coach George O’Leary and former Cincinnati coach Tommy Tuberville.

“We’re trying to have discussions on who’s going to be our TV sponsors and are we going to play on Tuesdays or Wednesdays,” Niumatalolo said. “I just remember those early days and we’re talking about what’s going to happen. To see us come from then to now, I couldn’t be prouder. I think the TV deal, I think the programs like UCF and Houston doing well have proven the quality of our league.”

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