NEWPORT, R.I. – The University of Cincinnati football team totaled 257 votes, including a pair of first-place nods, earning the second spot in the first American Athletic Conference preseason media poll announced Tuesday.

The league is holding its annual summer kickoff and media day at the Hotel Viking in Newport, R.I.

Louisville earned the top spot in the poll with 28 of the 30 first-place votes and 298 points overall. Following UC in second position was Rutgers (240), UCF (210), USF (155), Houston (134), UConn (131), SMU (118), Temple (60) and Memphis (47).

The Bearcats rolled to a 10-3 campaign in 2012, earning a share of the Big East title with a 5-2 league mark and had a late rally past Duke to win a thriller in the Belk Bowl. UC has won or shared four of the last five conference championships and was ranked No. 22 in the postseason USA Today Coaches' Poll.

The Bearcats, under new head coach Tommy Tuberville, return 17 starters from the 2012 squad, including first-team all-league selection in OT Eric Lefeld (Coldwater, Ohio/Coldwater), OG Austen Bujnoch (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) and LB Greg Blair (Pittsburgh, Pa./Schenley/Lackawanna CC). Blair led the conference with 138 tackles a year ago.

UC is the only school in the country among the BCS AQ Conferences (American, ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC) to win four conference titles in the last five years and one of only four NCAA FBS AQ programs to have won 10 games in five of the past six seasons, joining Alabama, Oklahoma and Oregon.

Season tickets and mini plans are on sale now. There are a number of ways fans can order tickets, in person at the athletics ticket office on the fourth floor of the Richard E. Lindner Center in Varsity Village, over the phone by calling 1-877-CATS-TIX or online by clicking the tickets tab at www.GoBEARCATS.com.

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