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American Athletic Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2022

Luke Fickell, Cincinatti Bearcats Football

It's not easy getting college football coaches to honestly comment on another coach, player or team. Most coaches don't want to give opposing teams bulletin board material, which is why there is a lot of coach speak or overused cliches used during the year.

In order to get an accurate assessment of teams heading into 2022, Athlon asked coaches in the American Athletic Conference to talk anonymously about their opponents.

Note: These scouting reports come directly from coaching staffs and do not necessarily reflect the views of Athlon's editorial staff.

American Athletic Conference Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2022


"Luke [Fickell] has the program to a point where they're going to be down while they're finding leaders, but they're still going to be competitive and capable of winning the league."

Related: Ranking the American Athletic Conference Quarterbacks for 2022

East Carolina

"This is a program quietly on the rise, and when the conference changes membership, they could end up on top of the new AAC. Mike Houston's legit."


"The QB is probably the best in our league. They've got more guys coming in around him, too. They're a good pick to win the league and make some noise nationally."

Related: Ranking All 131 College Football Teams for 2022


"They're always going to play you tough, but without that rare, once-a-decade athlete at QB, they're very manageable. They don't have a [Malcolm] Perry or [Keenan] Reynolds right now."


"The rep under Sonny Dykes was that they were a great front-runner who would fall apart down the stretch. They have to change that. The QB is decent but doesn't have much help."

Related: College Football All-America Team for 2022


"They just weren't competitive last year. You could see the spirit was gone. No one really knows what to make of Stan Drayton going to this job."


They haven't recruited well enough to fix what you saw last year, but Willie [Fritz] is a great coach. They're part spread, part triple, part trickery. They're going to get creative."

Related: American Athletic Conference Predictions for 2022


"I think that they're going to fall to that 4–8 realm with a win against someone they shouldn't beat. They're back into that world."


"They're better on defense than you think, but losing Dillon Gabriel and some of the offensive pieces will hurt. They're still transitioning. Honestly, it could go either way."

Related: College Football Bowl Projections for 2022-23


"They're going to improve and still be bad overall this season, but the depth is coming along. They just have to keep recruiting and try to keep their guys from going to the portal."

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