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    Weeze56m

    [2022]AAC Positional Grades(EAST)

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    AAC Positional Grades
    East Version!

     

              With the Kickoff of the 2022 season less than 24 hours away, It is time we take a look at each of the 12 schools and see what they are bringing to the table this season! In this article we will be looking at the 6 teams who are specifically in the Eastern division, Cincinnati, Uconn, ECU, UCF, USF and Temple.

    *Note about Grades given. Each position was given a grade between A and F. 5/5=A, 4.5/4.5=B+, 4/4=B, etc. If you started a 3.0/4.0 you will notice that doesn't fit the easy mold. In these cases, people were more often than not given the next grade up based on skill. 3=C, so C+. There were a few that fit the mold even less. For some of those odd balls ones(such as a 2.0/5.0) basically just graded them with the eye test. Everything was based off of skill/potential. No stats were looked up. Don't like that? Do it yourself then.

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: Cincinnati (4.2-7.8 overall, 2.9-5.1 AAC)

     

              Cincinnati will be the first team we start off with. The Bearcats have long been a bottom dweller in the AAC, and more honestly the NCAA. However, things began to change under Former Coach, and Current Auburn coach, Rome. He began to bring in talent and find ways to succeed with a team that just wasn't very good. They have a long way to go, and according to the projections, they aren't expected to do much this season either. However, if you look at the team over all, they aren't behind the curve like they use to be. With good coaching, and a little luck, they may actually be able to make a little bit of noise in the conference this season. Might be a little foolish to say they are going to be contenders, but they won't be the push over everyone is use to them being. They are the only team in the Conference to receive an A for their kicker, In fact the only team in the East to have a kicker rated higher than a C+. They have a good quarterback, behind a decent offensive line, with a few weapons to use. Their defense isn't the best, and it has plenty of holes, but as long as it doesn't collapse, their offense could very well give them the chance to put up a fight this season.

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: Connecticut (3.1-8.9 overall, 1.8-6.2 AAC)

     

              If Cincy is the bottom dwellers, than UCONN might be the scum the bottom dwellers sleep on. They are an enigma to be sure. They have had some talent in the past, they have manage to upset teams, but a lack of coaching, consistent coaching, has really kept them from making any real strides. The huskies are predicted to have the second worst record this season in the AAC behind only Tulane. Given the talent they have currently, they aren't likely to prove the predictor wrong this season. However, it is not all doom and gloom. They have the best Graded players at the WR 1 spot. Honestly that might be the truth for the last two seasons. They also have a QB who can air the ball out if he has the chance. But given the defense, given some of the supporting cast on offense..the huskies are going to be real one dimensional this season, and probably easy to predict. UCONN might have the only A graded receiver, but they are also the only team to have a player grade F at any position. Buckle up Huskies..expect every team to run the air raid on you...

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: East Carolina (3-9 overall, 2-6 AAC)

     

               ECU is one of those teams that have been hard to predict over the last few seasons. Last season they were expected to finish near the bottom of the conference, but managed to claw their way back to finishing second in the east. A few seasons earlier, they started 1-3, but went on a fantastic run and almost had their first double digit season in team history, had it not been for a bazaar upset by Uconn. The team has also been in a rebuild mode since 2020. Aside from a horrific recruiting campaign in 2019, ECU's coach has been able to recruit very well, finishing in the top 30 the last two seasons. His teams grades really are a result of young guys not growing up yet. Especially on the defense side of the ball. Coach Weeze has always manage to finish the season with at least 7 wins. Given his schedule and conference opponents, its going to take some good coaching, and a lot of luck to keep that streak alive. If the defense can play up to their potential in the big moments, they could have a special year with a Freshmen quarterback leading the way.

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: UCF (9.4-2.6 overall, 6.9-1.1 AAC)

     

              The Chicago Tribune has UCF ranked number 1 in the east. If i were a betting man, I might put my chips on another team who shows up later on on this list. That said, UCF is probably one of the most talented teams in the AAC. They could easily fight the top dogs in other conferences. However...they also have a new coach. He is young. But he does have spirit. It will be interesting to see what he can do with this squad. More importantly, how will he recruit in the great battle royal that is Florida. If he can overcome those challenges..he might be able to carry over the legacy and get UCF back on track to become the great dynasty that former head coach UBL was building. The D line at UCF is probably the best graded in the conference, with only South Florida a notch behind them. The future of this team really depends on the coaching. They could be great..or they could fall apart leaving us to wonder what happened.

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: USF (7.2-4.8 overall, 4.7-3.3 AAC)

     

              USF is a team looking to break away from the middle of the pack. They had a good run a couple seasons ago, but like a lot of the AAC took a big step back last season. They need to show they are still the team we expect them to be. They have a lot of young talent. Especially on defense. They were once thought to be the best offense team in the AAC. But a look at this defense..they might have turned into one of the best Defenses. The D-line is probably the second best behind UCF, and arguably have the best secondary in the conference. If USF can get the offense to show up, their defense should be able to overcome any mistakes they might make. The O-line is probably the worst in the AAC..but its young. It could be the very thing that helps make this team..or break it.

     

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    The Chicago Tribune Projection: Temple (9.3-2.7 overall, 5.8-2.2 AAC)

     

              Temple is expected to finish second accord to the Chicago Tribune, but Temple has dominated the East for the most part for the last several years. With UCF having a new coach, and all the troubles that come with having a young new coach, it would not be much of a stretch to expect Temple actually take the top spot in the East again this year. A Young Quarterback, with lots of weapons around him behind a solid line should see the Owls have one of the better offenses in the east. Only UCF might have a better offense in the east. Defensively, the grade well across the board. Their nickel corner spot might be a problem, but I expect they will be working closely with the safeties to help. Their Linebacker unit is solid, and their tackles upfront will be a problem for most of the conference. The line will make or break USF. Quarterback will break or make Temple. Jordan North leaves behind a big hole. Their coach is a hard nose man, with a lot of respect attached to his name. I expect his team has faith in him, and expect him to find a way to win. Something the great coaches do.

     

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              All in all, it should be a much better year for the AAC East. Many of the teams are still rebuilding, but they are better prepared than what they were last season. UCF has all the talent to be dominate. The big question mark is the Coach. Temple has a lot of talent, and a proven coach who can win. USF though isn't a team that should be ignored. Evans has a great defense and has put together an exciting offense in the past.

     

    East Winner: Temple

    Key Match: UCF @ Temple

    Dark Horse: USF

    Last: Uconn

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