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 2021, Athlon asked coaches in the Mountain West 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.
Mountain West Conference Coaches Talk Anonymously About Conference Foes for 2022
"They're brutal to play if you're a top-half team in this league. They've done a fantastic job as a development program, and they don't blink. You can't scare them."
"If they can protect Hank [Bachmeier], they can jump right back and win the conference. They still operate with a different standard than the rest of us."
"We know they're gonna build something solid down the road, but how quickly can they turn it? It's a safe bet they're competing for the MWC title in a few seasons."
"The offense really struggled last season. The good news is that almost every staff in this league has stolen something from (DC) Rocky Long at some point. He's the master."
"They have a unique offense that was difficult for a lot of teams to prep for last season. They're also doing an exceptional job at working the portal right now."
"One of the most well-coached teams in the Group of Five. They're disciplined, they don't make costly mistakes and the defense really buys into the culture there."
"With a new staff coming in, they need to figure out what kind of defense works best opposite that offensive scheme. That side of the ball is a huge question mark right now."
"If Hawaii is successful, it's because they have someone who knows the island and someone who's familiar with the Run & Shoot. Timmy Chang is both, so that's a good start."
"They hired a great coach, and it went under the radar. They have a ton of guys leaving in the portal, so they're going to take a major step back in the short term."
San Diego State
"They can fall apart quick if you make their offense catch up. Otherwise, they're going to play perfect ball-control offense. They love a one-score game."
San Jose State
"Brent Brennan and his guys are one of the best staffs in the conference. As long as he's there, they're going to be competitive and not fall back into the one- and two-win San Jose."
"They have lots of problems for sure, but if you squint, there was progress down the stretch last season. Coaches can look at some of those closer games and see buy-in."