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Owls picked to finish 4th in C-USA farewell campaign

FAU to depart for AAC after 2022 season
FAU Owls QB N'Kosi Perry throws vs. Georgia Southern Eagles, Sept. 11, 2021
Posted at 9:47 PM, Jul 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 21:58:04-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — Florida Atlantic was picked to finish fourth in its final season in Conference USA.

The Owls were picked just behind UTSA, UAB and Western Kentucky by a panel of media members Monday in the now 11-team league, which will play without divisions in 2022.

C-USA Predicted Order of Finish in 2022

Media PickTeam2021 C-USA Record
ThirdWestern Kentucky7-1
FourthFlorida Atlantic3-5
FifthNorth Texas5-3
EighthMiddle Tennessee4-4
NinthLouisiana Tech2-6
11thFlorida International0-8

UTSA earned 14 first-place votes as the Roadrunners attempt to defend their C-USA crown.

UAB, which earned eight first-place votes, was picked to finish second and play for the C-USA title. A last-second loss to UTSA last season kept the Blazers from winning the West Division and earning a spot in the title game.

Western Kentucky was the East Division champion last season. Third-year FAU head coach Willie Taggart once played for and coached the Hilltoppers.

FAU Owls head coach Willie Taggart on sideline with face shield in 2020
Florida Atlantic Owls head coach Willie Taggart stands on the sideline with a face shield against the Massachusetts Minutemen during a game Friday, Nov. 20, 2020, in Boca Raton, Fla.

FAU started last season 5-3 but went winless in November to finish with a losing record and miss a bowl game for the first time since 2018.

The Owls, led by returning starting quarterback N'Kosi Perry, will host UAB and Western Kentucky this season. FAU lost both games – 31-14 at UAB and 52-17 at Western Kentucky – a season ago.

FAU announced earlier this year that it will join the American Athletic Conference for the 2023-24 academic year.

The top two teams in the regular-season standings will meet in the C-USA Championship game.