The 2016 AAC preseason poll has been released and it looks like a lot of people outside of Greenville don't have much confidence in the East Carolina football team. The Pirates have been predicted to finish fifth in the East Division, which is the exact spot they finished a season ago.
On the bright side, at least they ranked the Pirates a spot above UCF, who went without a win last season. The ranking has USF on top of the East and Houston on top of the West. The media's final prediction is that Houston will win the conference championship.
The low ranking has a lot of people in Pirate Nation a little nervous and wondering if they actually deserve to be ranked that low.
Although I personally disagree with the ranking, the truth is that I can't really blame people outside of Pirate Nation for not having the highest of expectations for ECU in 2016. The main thing that they have to go off of is the previous season, so it’s no big surprise that we are predicted to be in the exact same spot that we finished a season ago.
Last season aside, the Pirates will have to prove themselves from day one because there are going to be a lot of changes this year. Any time a team brings in a new head coach the expectations are naturally going to be low going into that first season. Along with a new head coach, ECU is making a transition at the quarterback position which tends to lower expectations as well.
However as I mentioned earlier, I understand the prediction, but that doesn’t mean that I completely agree. Personally, even with a new quarterback, I think the Pirates are as talented on offense as any team that they will face this season.
Coach Montgomery is a great offensive-minded coach and I feel like he will find a way to get the offense rolling in his first season at ECU. If he is able to do so, I don’t see why the Pirates will not be able to make some noise in the AAC and make some people regret predicting that fifth place finish.