MEMPHIS – Better late than never.

The Tiger football team taking part in the AAC’s virtual media days Thursday where Ryan Silverfield, entering his third season as head coach, is looking for a bounce back season after the u of m went 6 and 6 in 2021.  That snapped a streak of seven straight seasons with at least eight wins.

“No one was pleased with last year’s record. Our players are hungry. We talk about it all the time, having a sense of urgency,” Silverfield said.  “Displeased with our efforts last year and we’ve got to be better. It starts with me. But our players understand the importance of this year, just like they do every year. They’ve worked their tails off this offseason. There’s certainly a sense of urgency.  We’re chasing a championship and I’m excited to see how the season unfolds.”

The Tigers were also picked to finish a distant fifth and behind the three teams that are bolting the American for the Big 12 at season’s end.

The preseason media poll has Cincinnati garnering more first place votes but it’s Houston sitting atop the poll… but just barely.

Central Florida is third followed by SMU and Memphis.

East Carolina is sixth with seven through 11… Tulane, Tulsa, South Florida, Navy and Temple.

It’s the second straight year the Tigers were picked fifth in the preseason.

Last year, the U of M finished seventh.

This year, linebacker Zay Cullens expects his team to buck the odds.

“Well, we all have one goal that we want to achieve.  The polls is the polls, so if we don’t go here and work at it, we can just prove the polls, right,” Cullens said   “But we don’t really worry much about the polls.  We can use it as motivation but at the end of the day, our goals gotta line up with each other.  If we want to do what’s best for the program, we’ll take it one week at a time, one game at a time.”