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Out of Bounds: An Unconventional Weekly American Athletic Conference Preview

This isn’t your grandfather’s weekly conference preview. This is AAC game day outside the lines.

NCAA Football: Central Florida Spring Game
UCF Head Coach Gus Malzahn sporting the two-tone visor
Mike Watters-USA TODAY Sports

AAC football is back BAYBEEEE!

My amazing colleges have been busy bringing you all the breakdowns, analysis and in-depth looks at the American Athletic Conference teams. So I decided to take a different route – a “green right spider two Y banana” if you will where I’m Russell Wilson and y’all are Michael Robinson.

I said what I said.

Here is what I am excited for in ACC Week 1, outside the lines.

Temple at Rutgers

A sold-out stadium. Rutgers fans stepped up and sold out SHI Stadium for Thursday night’s Battle of the Delaware River. It will be the first game with fans for second time, second-year head coach Greg Schiano and all of Scarlett Knight nation have been encouraged to Wear Red. Expect lots of in-game posts from students as Rutgers upgraded Wi-Fi capabilities and increased bandwidth in the South Endzone.

Boise State at UCF

Gus Malzahn’s Visor. If you didn’t see Malzahn’s amazing Tweet inquiring which color visor he should wear in his first game as head coach at the University of Central Florida, then we actually can’t be friends. So here:

You’re welcome. I’m really hoping he goes with the classic two-tone black and white one. But either way Florida Gus > Alabama Gus.

“I’m getting real comfortable with here,” Malzahn said in a press conference. “I know how to get home and I know how to get to work. After that I’ve gotta take GPS, but I’m really enjoying living here.”

ECU at App State

The Duke’s Mayo Classic tailgate competition. The area around Bank of America Stadium in Downtown Charlotte is about to be LIT. Thursday night’s game between Eastern Carolina and Appalachian State kicks off a weekend of collegiate football debauchery – live music, fan fests, food and lots of beverages, adult and otherwise. It’s free and open to the public. And both schools have fun, passionate fanbases, so really it’s anybody’s tailgate. Plus ESPN’s College GameDay will be there. And there’s even a Sunday morning Around the Crown 10k for those feeling repentant. “We want you to experience Charlotte at 5mph, not 50 mph. There is a pace and a place for everyone to run.” – race director

UC Davis at Tulsa

Game theme. The Golden Hurricane’s host the UC Davis Aggies Thursday night and the theme for Tulsa’s season-opener is “Tulsa Thanks.” The game is a ‘thank you’ to the frontline workers (doctors & nurses), first responders (police officers, firefighters, EMT) and educators (professors & teachers) in the northeastern Oklahoma community. We love this.

Also, senior offensive lineman Chris Paul, who goes by the stage name The Seventh, releases his second single “In My Head” Thursday. The Nigerian American singer/songwriter blends classical arrangements and harmonies, shaped by his early days in the Jersey Village choir. In fact, his stage name is a nod to his favorite dominant chord.

USF at NC State

There are a few things I’m excited about for University of South Florida’s game at North Carolina State. First, Raleighwood - an expanded, 25,000 sq ft fan zone located in the Northeast corner. The new concourse area will include multiple food trucks, beverage stations, a beer tent and additional amenities such as tents, tables (picnic & cocktail) and occasional live music and entertainment options. Plus, it’s free and open to all fans when the gates open.

Second, I am obviously excited for Tuffy III, the newest member of the Wolfpack. He is 4-months old, a rare mix of a German Shepherd, Alaskan Malamute and Siberian husky and is the son of Tuffy I, Wave. He is also undefeated, so.

Third, the marching band. Apparently, USF has been piping in crowd noise during practice, specifically snippets of a band playing the NC State fight song. The Bulls are ready to charge.

Oklahoma at Tulane

Green. Not like the Wave, like dollar bills. Due to Hurricane Ida wreaking havoc on New Orleans, the game against the Sooners was moved to Norman. But Oklahoma let Tulane retain the home team moniker and the Green Wave will also retain all net proceeds from ticket sales. But only the lower bowl of Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Stadium will be used for fan seating. The price of the lower-level tickets for season ticket holders will be $30, and $50 for suites and clubs to include hospitality. OU students will have an opportunity to purchase tickets priced at $20 beginning Tuesday. If tickets remain after season ticket and student requests are accommodated, a public sale will be held on Friday and those tickets will be available at $50 each.

Marshall at Navy

Jack Lengyel. The Former Naval Academy Athletic Director and Marshall football coach will be honored at Saturday’s game against the Thundering Herd. Lengyel will be part of the coin toss and will also be recognized at the first media timeout. Lengyel took over the Marshall football program 51 years ago after the tragic Southern Airlines crash on Nov. 14, 1970, that killed all 75 people on board following Marshall’s football game at East Carolina. Lengyel served as Navy’s first civilian athletic director from 1988-2001. I just gave myself chills typing this one.

Miami Ohio at Cincinnati

Season Ticket Holders. The highly touted Cincinnati Bearcats’ Athletic Department set a school record for season-ticket sales with over 22,000 tickets. Cincinnati’s season-ticket mark eclipses the previous best of 18,836 which was set entering the 2010 season. The Bearcats external staff added nearly 5,000 new season tickets to the roster entering one of the most highly anticipated campaigns in school history. Student season tickets also hit a record mark of over 6,000 tickets sold, with additional inventory created in sections 214 and 215.

Abilene Christian at SMU

Reasonably priced concessions. SMU hosts Abilene Christian Saturday in the Mustangs White Out season opener. Most things will be high – the temperature, the score, Sonny Dykes horse. In fact, the only thing low will be the concession prices in certain areas of Ford Stadium. Highlights of the menu at select stands include $3 hot dogs, nachos and pretzels, $2 sodas and waters and a $5 16 oz. beer. Cheers!

Nicholls State at Memphis

Turntables and Tiger Walks. Memphis Tiger Tailgate concert series returns this season and Saturday’s home opener against Nicholls State features local party band City Mix, starring lead singer and celebrated American Idol alum Jalen Harris. Resource Entertainment Group will provide DJ Music at 3 p.m. When the Tigers’ football team arrives for Tiger Walk at 3:30 pm., the music will pause and City Mix will take the stage at approximately 4 p.m.

Texas Tech vs. Houston

Giving back. The 2021 Good Sam Texas Kickoff features a fantastic in-state, out-of-conference matchup between Texas Tech and Houston. The game is at NRG Stadium and the Sam Good people are pulling out all the stops for fans of both schools with multiple days of tailgating, concert series and more. But the best part is the online auction tied to the weekend, benefitting the DePelchin Children’s Center and the Houston Texans Foundation. Fans can bid on authentic University of Houston and Texas Tech signed gear, Houston Texans items and more! Bidding starts on Friday, Sept. 3 at noon and will close on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 8 pm. Get charitable here.