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Anonymous Big 12 Coach on UCF Football: ‘Of the Four New Schools, They’re in the Best Shape’

We’ve reached the point of the offseason where preseason magazines start to trickle out onto grocery store shelves and in .PDF format on Twitter and everywhere else you find your college football content.

One of the mainstays of the preseason magazine world, Athlon Sports, has long had a segment during this part of the season when they ask coaches, anonymously, about other coaches in their league.

With four new schools joining the Big 12, there’s plenty being said about the hierarchy of the newcomers, and one Big 12 coach says that UCF could be in the best position of all of them.


“Of the four new schools, they’re in the best shape, and they’re in the best shape because they aren’t relying on the Big 12 or the ‘Power 5’ status to help them. They’ve done everything they can to build up on their own. And they’re not going to trade Florida for Texas in recruiting; that’s stupid. … [John Rhys] Plumlee is a gamer; he’s going to be really exciting in this league. The coordinator changes aren’t really a big deal for them: [Darin] Hinshaw is a vet and he’s from there, so he’s not gonna do anything to change what works. [Addison] Williams is an internal promotion and knows the roster. They’re replacing a lot on their O-line but the core is basically there on both sides.”

UCF is certainly in the best position to succeed geographically, located in the heart of Florida, one of the three richest recruiting states in the country.


Plus, of the incoming starting quarterbacks, John Rhys Plumlee is easily the most exciting. Last season, Plumlee threw for 2,586 yards and rushed for 862 yards, and scored a combined 25 touchdowns for the Knights. As one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in college football this season, Plumlee will lead a high-flying offense that will fit right in to what the Big 12 does on that side of the football.

Plus, with Gus Malzahn at the helm, UCF can make the argument that it has the best coach of the incoming teams as well. Things are looking good in Orlando as the Knights prepare for their first season in the Big 12, and don’t be surprised if they have more success than most expect out the gate.

UCF starts the 2023 season against Kent State on August 31, and begins Big 12 play on the road at Kansas State on September 23.

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