Tigers picked to finish first in American’s West Division

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NEWPORT, RI- The American Athletic Conference released its football media poll Tuesday, and for the second time in three years, the University of Memphis is the preseason favorite to win the league’s West Division. The preseason vote was released at the league’s annual media days.

The Tigers received 22 of the media’s first-place votes (169 points) to take the conference’s West Division crown. Houston, the 2016 preseason favorite for the overall league title, got six first-place votes (137 points) to win the West Division and was closely followed by Navy in third with one vote and 128 points. Tulsa also received one vote (102 points) to win the division.

USF is the unanimous choice to win the East Division, garnering all 30 first-place votes. The Bulls also are the preseason pick to win The American title with 26 of the 30 media votes. Memphis received one vote to take the league’s championship.

Memphis also was the preseason pick to win the West Division in 2015 with 13 first-place votes and 153 points. Houston and Navy were close behind the Tigers in that West Division preseason poll with 10 votes (149 points) and seven votes (148 points), respectively.

Last season, the media selected the Tigers to place third in the West Division. Memphis finished third with a 5-3 conference record in 2016.

Memphis is inching closer towards the start of the 2017 preseason camp. The team reports to campus July 27, with the first practice scheduled the following day.

The Tigers open their 2017 season with a special Labor Day weekend/Thursday night game against Louisiana-Monroe Aug. 31. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. (CT) at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium.