clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Three Things We Learned From Week 11 Conference USA Football

After having great success at Oklahoma State with Brandon Weeden, Todd Monken has another QB with Nick Mullens
After having great success at Oklahoma State with Brandon Weeden, Todd Monken has another QB with Nick Mullens
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

1. Nick Mullens is a beast

Seriously. He has, with Brandon Doughty, Brent Stockstill and Jeff Driskel, been part of a group of quarterbacks that has been the class of the conference by a wide margin. Only two of those players return next year, and the other one doesn't play in Southern Miss' division.

Against the Rice Owls Mullens tied Southern Miss' record for most passing touchdowns in a single game with five touchdowns in the 65-10 beatdown to keep the Golden Eagles tied with Louisiana Tech for first place in C-USA West.

All five of his touchdowns came in the first half. If Todd Monken wanted to dump some salt on Rice, Mullens could have finished the game with five more passing touchdowns to completely smash the record.

Mullens has done this before by the way. Against UAB he threw for five touchdowns to tie the record but that was on an abysmal 1-11 Southern Miss team.

With Southern Miss undergoing a massive rebuild these past two seasons Mullens has been flying under the radar but that's about to change.

This season Mullens has passed for 3276 yards, and 30 touchdowns with seven interceptions as he's been one of the key reasons for Southern Miss' resurrection.

In two weeks the spotlight will be on him and Southern Miss when they travel to Louisiana Tech to determine who wins C-USA West.

2. Good luck filling all of your bowl tie-ins

Right now the conference has four bowl-eligible teams to fill seven slots, with five teams left who could, mathematically, fill the three remaining slots. That said, there is no way FIU defeats Western Kentucky, and there is no way that UTEP is beating Louisiana Tech, and that would knock both those teams out of the running.

No sweat, still three teams for three slots. Middle Tennessee, who only needs to beat UNT or UTSA, should be fine. However, barring a major upset, Old Dominion will need to top FAU in their finale to reach 6-6, and Rice will need to beat both Charlotte and UTSA to reach that eligibility mark. Sure, Rice is the better team on paper, but they haven't beaten anyone better than FAU and are on a three-game slide that includes a loss to UTEP.

Its safe to say some of these athletic directors and head coaches might want to get a head start on filling out those waivers to see if their 5-7 team could be selected for a bowl game, as other conferences are having the same issue in filling their bowl tie-ins too.

3. Charlotte takes the lead for worst team in Conference USA

On Saturday Charlotte hosted UTSA in game that would determine who is, indeed, the worst team Conference USA.

In a game no one wanted to win. Someone had to, and it wasn't Charlotte.

Charlotte lost 30-27 in overtime via a game-winning 22-yard field goal by Daniel Portillo.

Since North Texas beat UTSA for their lone conference win, we all should just assume the Mean Green would defeat Charlotte because I don't think anyone would pay to see those two teams play each other to actually determine who is the worse team.

The 49ers are now 2-8 overall and winless in conference play. They close out the season with road games against Kentucky and Rice.

Rice has reverted back to Rice of old so Charlotte could actually win that game. But if they don't, Charlotte has firmly entrenched themselves as the worst team in C-USA in their first season at the FBS level.