WHY THEY’RE SCARY: The Cards were the class of the league in 2012, winning 11 games and trouncing heavily-favored Florida in the Sugar Bowl. Junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater is the best player in the AAC, having thrown for 3,718 yards and 27 touchdowns last season. He’s a legitimate Heisman Trophy candidate and has the weapons around him to be even more dangerous this season, as junior receivers Davante Parker and Eli Rogers return.
WHAT COULD GO WRONG: Louisville will be the heavy favorite in this league and will receive plenty of preseason hype despite having only proven themselves to be an elite team in 2012. The 2011 version of the Cards went 7-6, and before that, this school had been in a tailspin. Also worth noting: UConn beat Louisville on the road last season, winning a 23-20 decision in triple overtime.
BOTTOM LINE: With Bridgewater behind center and an accomplished defense in place, there’s no reason to think the Cardinals can’t roll through the American. But should adversity hit, it will be interesting to see how this hyped-up club responds.