IRVING, Texas – Entering its 10th campaign as a member of the American Athletic Conference, East Carolina has been tabbed to finish sixth in the 2023 AAC Preseason Media Poll as voted on by members of the media the league announced Tuesday.
The American Conference welcomed six new institutions to the circuit in July – Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB and UTSA – to offset the departures of Cincinnati, Houston and UCF to the Big 12 Conference.
The Pirates picked up 303 points finishing ahead of North Texas (261 points). Defending league champion Tulane was selected the preseason favorite, receiving 20 of a possible 34 first-place votes and 457 points, while UTSA was a close second with nine first-place votes and 440 points. SMU garnered three first-place votes and 397 points.
The top two teams in the final single-division regular-season standings will meet Dec. 2 in the ninth American Athletic Conference Football Championship.
East Carolina is under the direction of fifth-year head coach Mike Houston. A year ago, The Pirates turned in an 8-5 overall record, a 4-4 mark in The American and won four of their last six games for a share of sixth place in the conference. ECU then defeated Coastal Carolina 53-29 in the TicketSmarter Birmingham Bowl for its first bowl victory since 2013.
The Pirates open the 2023 season on the road at Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 2. The contest, scheduled for a 12 noon (ET) start, will be streamed exclusively through Peacock. East Carolina hosts Marshall (Sept. 9) and Gardner-Webb (Sept. 23) while also traveling to Appalachian State (Sept. 16) during its non-conference slate. ECU begins conference play Sept. 30 at Rice.
Season tickets are on sale with packages starting as low as $115 (depending on location) each and purchases may be made via ECU’s Online Ticket Center or by calling the Athletics Ticket Office at (252) 737-4500. For all the latest information on ECU Athletics, follow us on Twitter (@ECUAthletics).
2023 American Athletic Conference Preseason Football Media Poll
Team (First Place Votes) – Points
1. Tulane (20) – 457
2. UTSA (9) – 440
3. SMU (3) – 397
4. Memphis (1) – 362
5. Florida Atlantic – 312
6. East Carolina – 303
7. North Texas – 261
8. UAB (1) – 209
9. Navy – 199
10. Temple – 182
11. Tulsa – 160
12. Rice – 138
13. South Florida – 86
14. Charlotte – 64