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Conference USA Power Rankings Week 6

After a ton of upsets last week, it’s backing to throwing darts to see who ends up where.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Texas-San Antonio Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

1. Middle Tennessee (4-1, 2-0, Last Week: #1)

Last result: Bye

The Blue Raiders are in the driver’s seat to win C-USA East after Western Kentucky and Marshall both lost last weekend. It’s rivalry week this weekend as WKU will visit Murfreesboro in what many believe will be the game of the year in C-USA. MTSU is at home and will enter this contest with a ton of momentum. Will the Blue Raiders take advantage?

Next week: vs Western Kentucky

2. Louisiana Tech (3-3, 2-1, LW: #4)

Last result: Louisiana Tech 55 Western Kentucky 52

Louisiana Tech defeated WKU in a shootout and almost gave it away before forcing a Mike White fumble to seal the game. The win was crucial in the race for C-USA West thanks to the crossover schedule favoring Southern Miss and with the Golden Eagles losing to UTSA over the weekend they are now tied for first place. The fact Tech’s offense has improved despite losing Kenneth Dixon and Jeff Driskel to the NFL is astonishing as the Bulldogs’ offense now ranks 15th in the nation in S&P+.

Next week: at UMass

3. Western Kentucky (3-3, 1-1, LW: #2)

Last result: Western Kentucky 52 Louisiana Tech 55

WKU’s 13-game winning streak against conference opponents is over. The Hilltoppers trailed 52-31 entering the fourth quarter and nearly stormed all the way back before Mike White was strip-sacked on their final possession. This game came down to their defense as they missed three starters and paid for it severely. The loss now makes this weekend’s rivalry game with MTSU a must-win if the Hilltoppers are to repeat as conference champs.

Next week: at Middle Tennessee

4. Southern Miss (4-2, 2-1, LW: #3)

Last result: Southern Miss 32 UTSA 55

The Golden Eagles blew a golden opportunity to keep the pressure on Louisiana Tech in the race for the division and now must try to pick up the pieces. They had flirted with not taking care of the ball against Rice the week prior and it finally costed them as they committed three turnovers against UTSA; the second straight game USM has had three turnovers.

Next week: at LSU

5. Old Dominion (4-2, 2-0, LW: #6)

Last result: Old Dominion 36 UMass 16

Don’t look now, but Old Dominion is beginning to surge as they are currently on a three-game winning streak. During the winning streak they have outscored their opponents 121-52. The Monarchs are the quietest team in C-USA as no one has been talking about them much. Things will stay that way this week as they are on a bye, but things will quickly change if they are to defeat WKU on the road in two weeks.

Next week: Bye

6. UTSA (2-3, 1-1, LW: #9)

Last result: UTSA 55 Southern Miss 32

The team of the week. UTSA kickstarted the wackiness in C-USA last week as Frank Wilson made the most of the bye week with a beatdown of the Golden Eagles. The Roadrunners’ physicality and speed was on full display in the Alamodome and Southern Miss had zero answers to combat it. UTSA was unstoppable on the ground as they rushed for 339 yards and 6 touchdowns with an average of 9.7 yards per carry!

Next week: at Rice

7. North Texas (3-3, 2-1, LW: #7)

Last result: North Texas 38 Marshall 21

Texas upstarts crushing traditional C-USA powers continued in Denton as North Texas dominated Marshall. This was the best Seth Littrell’s offense looked all season as the Mean Green’s balanced attack kept Marshall’s defense on their heels. Mason Fine passed for 206 yards and a touchdown and Jeffery Wilson rushed for 188 yards and 2 touchdowns. Many thought a bowl game would be asking too much from Littrell in his first season but the Mean Green might just pull it off. If they are to do so, they’re going to have to do it on the road as four of their final six games are away from Denton.

Next week: at Army

8. FIU (2-4, 2-0, LW: #10)

Last result: FIU 35 UTEP 21

Make that two straight for FIU under Ron Cooper as the Panthers went into El Paso and pounded the Miners for 258 rushing yards between Alex Gardner (141) and Anthony Jones (128). FIU looks to have an identity under Cooper, something Ron Turner failed to establish during his time in Miami. If FIU takes of Charlotte next week, things start getting really interesting in Miami as we might have to start including FIU in division race talks.

9. Marshall (1-4, 0-1, LW: #5)

Last result: Marshall 21 North 38

I thought Marshall’s defense would get its act together in conference play and boy was I wrong as the Thundering Herd have now lost four games in a row. The Herd was getting ran over by Jeffery Wilson and looked really slow on defense. After bringing in touted recruits and transfers on that side of the ball, Marshall has allowed 35 points per game this year. After dominating C-USA teams over the past few years Marshall’s blood is in the water and I fully expect other C-USA teams to take advantage and make it difficult for the Herd to reach a bowl game this year.

Next week: vs FAU

10. UTEP (1-5, 0-3, LW: #8)

Last result: UTEP 21 FIU 35

UTEP has lost five games in a row. During the losing streak the offense is averaging 11.2 points per game. Despite having the best running back in the conference, Brent Pease’s has been unable to add another dimension.

11. Charlotte (2-4, 1-1, LW: #13)

Last result: Charlotte 28 FAU 23

Charlotte grabbed their first ever C-USA win against FAU in thrilling fashion after having a completed hail mary for a touchdown against them get overturned as an incomplete pass. Hassan Klugh got the start over Kevin Olsen and looked great. Klugh went 14-17 for 223 yards with 3 passing touchdowns and 1 rushing touchdown. The 49ers appear to have their quarterback of the future with Klugh.

12. FAU (1-5, 0-2, LW: #11)

Last result: FAU 23 Charlotte 28

I almost ranked FAU last and wanted to before realizing Rice is still in the conference. After going 3-9 in Charlie Partridge’s first two years FAU will be lucky to reach 3 wins this year. Fortunately for them Rice is still on the schedule.

13. Rice (0-5, 0-3, LW: #12)

Last result: Bye

Welcome home Rice!

Next week: vs UTSA