Temple receives no votes to repeat as conference champion

Former running back Jahad Thomas runs for one of his two touchdowns during Temple's 46-30 win against South Florida at Lincoln Financial Field on Oct. 21, 2016. The Bulls are the favorite to win the East Division and conference titles in 2017. HOJUN YU FOR THE TEMPLE NEWS

The American Athletic Conference announced the results from its preseason media poll from its media day festivities in Newport, Rhode Island today.

Temple was picked to finish third in the East Division of The American ahead of Cincinnati, East Carolina and Connecticut. The Owls received no votes to become conference champions.

The Owls, who recorded back-to-back 10-win seasons for the first time in program history from 2015-16, enter the 2017 season as the defending conference champions after defeating Navy 34-10 in December.

Temple enters this season with an unsettled battle for the starting quarterback position and a new coach. Geoff Collins, the former defensive coordinator at the University of Florida, will attempt to lead Temple to its third straight ranking in the Associated Press Top 25.

South Florida received all 30 first-place votes in the East Division and 26 of 30 conference championship votes. The Bulls finished the season ranked No. 19 in the AP Poll after their win against the University of South Carolina in the Birmingham Bowl.

Houston, Memphis and Navy split the remaining four conference championship votes. Memphis received 22 votes to win the West Division, and Houston received six first-place votes. First-year coach Mike Norvell led Memphis to its third straight bowl appearance last season.

Houston started last season with a 5-0 record to earn the No. 6 spot in the AP poll for five weeks. The Cougars lost to San Diego State University in the Las Vegas Bowl to end their season.

For the past two seasons, Temple has not been picked to win the East Division or The American, however, the Owls won the East both years.

In 2015, the Owls were picked to finish third in the East, while in 2016 they were picked to finish second.

Temple will play its first game in the Collins era when it travels to South Bend, Indiana to face the University of Notre Dame on Sept. 2 at 3:30 p.m.

 

Evan Easterling
can be reached at evan.easterling@temple.edu Or you can follow Evan on Twitter @Evan_Easterling Follow The Temple News @TheTempleNews

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