The UCF football team, who has won 25 of its last 26 games and back-to-back American Athletic Conference Championships, has been selected as the favorite to win the league title again in the conference’s 2019 preseason media poll.
UCF received 12 of a possible 30 votes to win the league title, while the Knights were listed first on 19 ballots in the East Division race.
It marks just the second time the Knights have been picked to win the conference. Last year UCF took those high expectations and lived up to them, finishing the regular season 11-0 and defeating Memphis in the 2018 title game.
Memphis was the media’s choice in the West Division as the Tigers received 15 first-place votes and 165 points to edge Houston in a close vote.
Cincinnati was projected as the overall conference champion on eight ballots, while Memphis received six votes for the league title, while Houston was the choice on four ballots.
UCF finished the regular season unbeaten for the second straight season in 2018 as the Knights went on to capture their fourth American Athletic Conference championship and advance to the PlayStation Fiesta Bowl. The team was recognized for excellence in the classroom, as well. The Knights boasted the highest NCAA Academic Progress Rate of all bowl-bound teams in the state last season, and 43 members of the squad were recently named to the American’s All-Academic team.
The Knights return 39 letterwinners and 13 starters from last year’s team, which went 12-1 and finished the year ranked No. 11 in the Associated Press poll.
UCF’s 2019 season opener against Florida A&M will kick off Thursday, Aug. 29, at Spectrum Stadium at 7:30 p.m. ET. Campus will close at 2 p.m. that day, and more information about the closure, tailgating and parking will be announced closer to game day.
The fourth American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played Saturday, Dec. 7, at the home site of the division champion with the best conference record.