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Examining the Over/Under 2020 Win Totals for the American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Examining the Over/Under 2020 Win Totals for the American Athletic Conference (AAC)

Examining the Over/Under 2020 Win Totals for the American Athletic Conference (AAC)

This looks like another fun year in the American Athletic Conference(AAC) with several schools laying claim to a title. You'll notice a lot of the same quarterbacks are back which will make things very interesting. There's also a change in alignment, as Connecticut has become an FBS Independent, leaving the AAC with 11 teams and no divisions. Just like the Big 12, the top two teams at the end of the regular season will meet in the conference title game.

Of course, when taking a look at these win totals, I'm going to consider any new coaches, scheduling quirks, and offseason headlines. Most of these programs have not had a chance to have much of an organized offseason, so teams with new staffs and QB battles could get off to a slow start. With that, let's take a look at the AAC.

Note: Win total numbers courtesy of Caesar's.

Cincinnati (O/U 8.5)

Non-Conference Games: Austin Peay, Western Michigan, at Miami (Ohio), at Nebraska
Schedule Notes: Bearcats have four road games in a five-game span starting Sept. 19. Cincinnati misses Navy and Tulane in conference play.
QB: Desmond Ridder
Roster Notes: 15 starters back (5 offense, 10 defense). A few key Power 5 transfers expected to step in right away on offense.

Prediction: Slight lean to the under, as I can see 8 wins.

East Carolina (O/U 3.5)

Non-Conference Games: Marshall, at South Carolina, Norfolk State, at Georgia State
Schedule Notes: Early game (Aug. 29) with Marshall, means a bye in Week 2. ECU misses Houston and Memphis in conference play.
QB: Holton Ahlers
Roster Notes: 13 starters back (8 offense, 5 defense). Pirates have new defensive coordinator (Blake Harrell), who was at FCS Kennesaw State last season but has worked with ECU head coach Mike Houston previously.

Prediction: Slight lean to the under, as I had 3 wins. It could be a long year for the Pirates.

Houston (O/U 5.5)

Non-Conference Games: Rice, at Washington State, North Texas, at BYU
Schedule Notes: Crazy back-to-back road trips in Weeks 2-3 (Washington State, Memphis) then later with BYU/Navy.
QB: Clayton Tune
Roster Notes: 16 starters return (9 offense, 7 defense), including the top four targets and three starters along the offenisve line.

Prediction: No lean. Solid number.

Memphis (O/U 10)

Non-Conference Games: Arkansas State, at Purdue, at UTSA, UT Martin
Schedule Notes: Three of the first five games and two of the final three are on the road.
QB: Brady White
Roster Notes: 13 starters back (6 offense, 7 defense). New head coach, but Ryan Silverfield was on Mike Norvell's staff and solid foundations on both sides of the ball remain.

Prediction: No lean, as I come up with 9-10 wins.

Non-Conference Games: Notre Dame, at Air Force, Army (Do they replace Lafayette?)
Schedule Notes: Opener against Notre Dame game now slated for Labor Day weekend at home instead of being played on Aug. 29 in Ireland. Navy catches break by missing Cincinnati and UCF in AAC play.
QB Battle: Sophomore Perry Olsen vs. senior Dalen Morris
Roster Notes: 13 starters back (7 offense, 6 defense), including plenty of experience in the backfield as Midshipmen must replace record-setting dual-threat quarterback Malcolm Perry.

Prediction: No lean. Solid number.

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SMU (O/U 7)

Non-Conference Games: at Texas State, Stephen F. Austin, at North Texas, TCU
Schedule Notes: Mustangs kick off four home games in five weeks through Halloween with TCU and Memphis in a six-day span. Miss UCF and USF in conference play.
QB: Shane Buechele
Roster Notes: 13 starters back (7 offense, 6 defense). Mustangs need an upgrade at kicker (7 missed PATs and 3 FGs within 30 yds).

Prediction: Lean to the over, although it's a tough schedule.

Temple (O/U 6)

Non-Conference Games: at Miami, Idaho, Rutgers, at UMass
Schedule Notes: Open at home against "former" head coach Manny Diaz and stud DE Quincy Roche. Three of the final four games also at home.
QB: Anthony Russo
Roster Notes: 12 starters back (8 offense, 4 defense). Offense may have to carry usually reliable defense this year.

Prediction: Temple's over is one of my favorite plays in the conference.

Tulane (O/U 6)

Non-Conference Games: SE Louisiana, at Northwestern, at Mississippi State, Army
Schedule Notes: Alternate home and away games throughout slate. No Cincinnati or USF in conference play.
QB Battle: Most likely Southern Miss transfer Keon Howard but several others in the mix
Roster Notes: 11 returning starters (4 offense, 7 defense). Over the last four years, Green Wave have played 22 games decided by one score or less.

Prediction: No lean. Solid number.

Tulsa (O/U 4.5)

Non-Conference Games: Toledo, at Oklahoma State, Northwestern State, at Arkansas State
Schedule Notes: Three of the final five games on the road to start, with three of five at home to finish.
QB: Zach Smith
Roster Notes: 13 returning starters (9 offense, 3 defense). Recruiting has taken a downturn.

Prediction: Slight lean to the over.

UCF (O/U 10.5)

Non-Conference Games: North Carolina, FIU, at Georgia Tech, Florida A&M
Schedule Notes: Four of the Knights' final six come at home. No SMU or Navy in AAC play.
QB Battle: Dillon Gabriel is the favorite, but Darriel Mack Jr. is lurking, and could McKenzie Milton be ready?
Roster Notes: 16 starters back (8 offense, 8 defense). The running back group is stacked, Tre Nixon is back at WR, and the secondary is very good.

Prediction: Slight lean to the under, as I come up with 10 wins.

USF (O/U 4.5)

Non-Conference Games: at Texas, Bethune-Cookman, Nevada, at FAU
Schedule Notes: With Texas, FAU, Cincinnati, Temple, Memphis and Houston all on the road, the Bulls may not win a single game away from home.

QB Battle: Jordan McCloud vs. UNC transfer Cade Fortin
Roster Notes: 13 returning starters (7 offense, 6 defense) should help the new coaching staff.

Prediction: Lean to the under, as I come up with 3-4 wins.

— Written by Matt Josephs, who is a part of the Athlon Sports Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @MidMajorMatt.

(Top photo courtesy of Memphis Athletics)