After the Big East's realignment, the American Athletic Conference kicks off its first official Media Days on Monday in Newport, R.I.
There will be 10 teams in the conference, including Louisville, which defeated Florida in the Sugar Bowl last season, 33-23.
The conference also features Cincinnati, UCF and Rutgers.
Here's a look at the schedule for the 2013 AAC Media Days, which will feature the coaches and some of the top players from each program. Interviews with coaches and players begin on the second day of the event.
Where: The Hotel Viking, Newport, R.I.
When: Tuesday, July 30
|9:20 a.m.||Show Opens|
|12:15 p.m.||Commissioner Mike Aresco|
Projected Top Programs
After a nine-win campaign, Rutgers lost seven of its starters on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, including two-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year Khaseem Greene and cornerback Logan Ryan.
Beyond that, quarterback Gary Nova struggled last season, averaging 6.9 yards per pass attempt (74th in the nation) while tossing 22 touchdowns to 16 interceptions, despite having star running back Jawan Jamison in the backfield.
Of course, if Nova can improve, there is hope for the Scarlet Knights. Brandon Coleman (718 yards, 10 touchdowns in 2012) is a dangerous receiver, Jamil Merrell and Marcus Thompson provide pressure on the defensive line and Rutgers returns four of its five starting offensive linemen from last season.
The arrival of former Texas Tech coach Tommy Tuberville has excited the fanbase at Cincinnati.
All five starters from the offensive line also return, as well as inside linebacker Greg Blair, who led the team with 138 tackles last season.
That being said, only five starters return on the defensive side of the ball. Running back George Winn is no longer with the team, as well as Cincy's top two receivers in 2012, Travis Kelce and Kenbrell Thompkins.
Brendon Kay and Munchie Legaux will battle for the starting spot under center.
Louisville returns 14 starters from a team that won 11 games last season, including the Sugar Bowl.
Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater leads this squad. Bridgewater ranked eighth in the nation in yards per pass attempt last season (8.9) while tossing 27 touchdowns to eight interceptions. That included throwing for 266 yards and two touchdowns to one interception against Florida in the Sugar Bowl.
The Cardinals also return their second-leading rusher from a year ago, Senorise Perry (705 yards, 11 touchdowns), as well as three of their top four receivers (DeVante Parker, Damian Copeland and Eli Rogers). Parker racked up 744 yards and 10 touchdowns last season.
And while Louisville did lose one of its top cornerbacks in Adrian Bushnell, it still has the formidable safety duo of Hakeem Smith and Calvin Pryor.
Some are picking Louisville as a legitimate contender for the national championship. With Bridgewater under center, it's no wonder why.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!