Lindy’s announces its 2013 All-AAC teams Staff

August 22, 2013 at 10:40 am.

Apr 13, 2013; Louisville, KY, USA; Louisville Cardinals Red Team quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (5) looks to pass against the White Team during the spring game at Papa Johns Cardinal Stadium. Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

Louisville Gives New Conference Title Contender

For a newly-branded league still in the midst of transition, it’s not a bad way to debut: The American Athletic Conference (nee: Big East) can make a name for itself immediately if Louisville lives up to expectations.

Still riding the wave of an eye-opening Sugar Bowl victory over Florida to end last year, the Cardinals return a Heisman Trophy candidate in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater and plenty of other veteran talent.

Coach Charlie Strong’s team will try to ride a preseason Top 10 ranking all the way into the big games — perhaps the biggest — at the end of the season.

Yep, the new AAC — at least for one year — will have something the old Big East lacked for most of its recent existence: A national title contender.

The rest of the conference will be chasing the Cardinals, most notably Big East holdovers Rutgers, Cincinnati and Connecticut, as well as newcomer UCF, whose dynamic offense will be led by returning 3,000-yard passer Blake Bortles. Houston, Memphis and SMU are the other new additions in the 10-team league.

But more change is on the way. Rutgers leaves for the Big Ten in 2014, and Louisville heads to the ACC that same year. East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa will then be added as replacements, with Navy joining for football only in 2015.

QB Teddy Bridgewater Jr. Louisville QB Blake Bortles Jr. UCF
RB Lyle McCombs Jr. Connecticut RB Dominique Brown Jr. Louisville
RB Charles Sims Sr. Houston RB Brandon Hayes Sr. Memphis
WR Brandon Coleman Jr. Rutgers WR Breshad Perriman So. UCF
WR DeVante Parker Jr. Louisville WR Anthony McClung Sr. Cincinnati
TE Gerald Christian Jr. Louisville TE Alan Cross So. Memphis
C Jake Smith Jr. Louisville C Austin Reiter Jr. USF
OL Austen Bujnoch Sr. Cincinnati OL Jamon Brown Jr. Louisville
OL Jimmy Bennett Sr. Connecticut OL Antwan Lowery Sr. Rutgers
OL Eric Lefeld Jr. Cincinnati OL Torrian Wilson Jr. UCF
OL Kaleb Johnson Jr. Rutgers OL Ben Gottschalk Sr. SMU
AP Ralph D. Abernathy IV Jr. Cincinnati AP J.J. Worton Jr. UCF
K John Wallace So. Louisville K Tony Miliano Jr. Cincinnati
DL Shamar Stephen Sr. Connecticut DL Aaron Lynch So. USF
DL Jamil Merrell Sr. Rutgers DL Terry Redden Jr. Memphis
DL Marcus Smith Sr. Louisville DL Levi Brown Sr. Temple
DL E.J. Dunston Sr. UCF DL Tevin Mims Sr. USF
LB Yawin Smallwood Jr. Connecticut LB Greg Blair Sr. Cincinnati
LB DeDe Lattimore Sr. USF LB Derrick Mathews Jr. Houston
LB Preston Brown Sr. Louisville LB Tyler Matakevich So. Temple
DB Hakeem Smith Sr. Louisville DB Lonnie Ballentine Sr. Memphis
DB Kenneth Acker Sr. SMU DB Lorenzo Waters Jr. Rutgers
DB Calvin Pryor Jr. Louisville DB Deven Drane Sr. Cincinnati
DB Clayton Geathers Jr. UCF DB Zach McMillian Sr. Houston
P Richie Leone Sr. Houston P Cole Wagner Sr. Connecticut