NEWPORT, R.I. - Entering its sixth season in the American Athletic Conference, ECU has been selected to finish fifth in the East Division of the AAC as voted on by members of the media.
The Pirates picked up a total of 66 points finishing ahead of Connecticut (30). UCF, who received 12 of 30 possible votes to win the league title, were listed on 19 ballots in the East Division race racking up 169 total points. Cincinnati (157) got 11 first place votes and was picked second followed by USF (107) and Temple (101).
Memphis was named the favorite in the West Division for the third-straight year as the Tigers claimed 15 of 30 first place votes for 165 points. Houston (162) garnered 14 votes and was picked second. Rounding out the West Division are Tulane (108), SMU (87, 1 first place vote), Navy (70) and Tulsa (38).
The fifth American Athletic Conference Football Championship will be played on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the home site of the division champion with the best conference record.
Under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Houston, ECU returns 13 of 22 positional starters (six offense, seven defense) and four on special teams. The Pirates also welcome back 45 letterman from last year’s squad (21 offense, 20 defense, four specialists). A year ago, ECU turned in a 3-9 overall record and an 1-7 mark in The American finishing fifth in the East Division.
ECU will open the 2019 season on the road at NC State on Saturday, Aug. 31 with a 12 noon (ET) scheduled kickoff that will be televised on the ACC Network. The Pirates' first home game will be Saturday, Sept. 7 against Gardner-Webb (6 p.m./ESPN3), while their AAC opener will be Saturday, Sept. 14 at Navy (3:30 p.m./CBSSN).
2019 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE PRESEASON FOOTBALL MEDIA POLL
Team (1st Place Votes) – Points
1. UCF (19) – 169
2. Cincinnati (11) – 157
3. USF – 107
4. Temple – 101
5. ECU – 66
6. Connecticut – 30