NEWPORT, R.I. -- Cincinnati has been picked to win the American Athletic Conference, with defending champion UCF second.

The Bearcats went 9-4 last season under coach Tommy Tuberville and return 16 starters. They received 17 of 30 first-place votes from the media panel and 311 points.

UCF, which went 12-1 and beat Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl last season, received seven first-place votes and 296 points. The Knights return 17 starters but must replace quarterback Blake Bortles.

Houston was picked third with six first-place votes, followed by conference newcomer East Carolina.

SMU was picked fifth, South Florida sixth and Memphis seventh.

Temple came in eighth. UConn was tied for ninth with Tulane, also in its first season in the American.

Tulsa was picked last in its first season in the conference.

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