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2022 American Athletic Conference Football Preview



Predicted Order of Finish



1. Houston- favorable schedule (no Cincinnati, UCF) and the return of Senior QB Clayton Tune (3,546 yards and 30 TD’s in 2021), puts the Cougars in the driver’s seat to win the AAC title, O-line must replace 3 starters and RB Alton McCaskill will miss 2022 with a torn ACL


2. Cincinnati- HC Luke Fickell has built a winning culture in 5 years at Cincinnati leading the program to its first ever Playoff appearance last year, the Bearcats however had 9 players get drafted including 4 year starting QB Desmond Ridder


3. UCF- the offense returns a plethora of talent in the backfield led by Junior RB Johnny Richardson and Senior RB Isaiah Bowser who rushed for over 1,400 combined yards last year, projected starting sophomore QB Mikey Keene only has 10 career starts and must improve downfield passing


4. East Carolina- have shown improvement in each of HC Mike Houston’s 3 seasons finishing 7-5 a year ago, defense gave up 9 fewer points in 2021 but still finished 80th in total yards allowed and must continue to make strides for the Pirates to reside in the upper echelon of the AAC


5. Navy- the Midshipmen were better in 2021 than their 4-8 record indicated losing 4 games by 8 points or less against a brutally tough schedule, Junior QB Tai Lavatai returns to lead the offense but the unit lacks experience at both FB and RB


6. Tulane- Willie Fritz knows how to win taking the Green Wave to 3 straight bowls prior to a forgettable 2-10 season last year, sophomore QB Michael Pratt threw for 21 touchdowns in 2021 but will be playing under a third coordinator in 3 seasons


7. SMU- former HC Sonny Dykes is gone after leading the Mustangs to 30 wins in 4 seasons but senior QB Tanner Mordecai returns after throwing for 3,628 yards and 39 TD’s in 2021, the defense which ranked 88th in scoring last year has an abundance of seniors but not a lot of playing experience


8. Tulsa- Senior QB Davis Brin returns to lead the Golden Hurricane who finished 2021 on a high note winning 7 out of their final 10 games after starting 0-3, defensively, however, must replace 9 starters under new coordinator Luke Olson


9. Memphis- the Tiger return a lot of key playmakers on offense led by sophomore QB Seth Henigan who threw for 3,322 yards and 28 touchdowns as a freshman, the defense returns only 2 starters and lacks depth and experience on the front 7


10. USF- the Bulls have posted a 3-18 record in 2 seasons under HC Jeff Scott, the offense which finished 101st in passing yards returns all 5 offensive linemen and hopes to get a spark from QB Gerry Bohanon who started 12 games at Baylor last year


11. Temple- Stan Drayton, who spent 5 seasons as an assistant at Texas, hopes to revitalize a program that has fallen drastically after posting back to back double digit win season in 2015 and 2016 under then HC Matt Rhule, sophomore QB D’Wan Mathis must improve consistency after an up and down 2021 season



Buy- Navy


Sell- SMU


Best Bet- Navy OVER total wins




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