This is my favorite week of the season in college football. Nothing beats family, food, and football.
This week we have not only bragging rights on the line, but bowl berths, job security, and a spot in the Conference USA Championship Game on the line.
The Game of the Week this week is the best rivalry in C-USA.
Choosing C-USA Record: 70-27
Game of the Week
Western Kentucky at Marshall (Western Kentucky -24)
Entering the season I figured this game would decide the East. I did not think WKU would be the only team to have stakes on the line.
If the Hilltoppers win, they win the East for the second straight year. If they lose and Old Dominion wins, the Tops are out.
I’m not going to pretend that the Tops are not an overwhelming favorite. They are. S&P+ ranks WKU 15th overall. Marshall is ranked 115th.
Marshall looked better against a broken Middle Tennessee team but they did not turn a turn a corner as last week’s game against FIU was a microcosm of what’s been wrong with this year’s Marshall team.
They can’t win the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. They allowed 257 rushing yards to FIU and ran it 26 times for 78 yards. They have the worst rushing offense in C-USA during conference play.
The Tops have the best rushing defense during conference play and have averaged 5.1 yards per carry in conference games.
According to the stats this game should be over at halftime.
Something tells me that it won’t. Despite WKU having the far superior team they will have to get it done in the toughest stadium to play in Conference USA at night.
Marshall has nothing to play for but to spoil WKU’s chance at another conference title. The pressure will be on the Tops to get it done.
I see this game being tight for the first three quarters but WKU will pull away in the fourth quarter.
Western Kentucky 38 Marshall 23
The Rest of C-USA...
Louisiana Tech vs Southern Miss
Rivalry in Dixie will have something on the line for the second straight year as Tech can clinch home-field advantage in the title game next week. After falling at home last year with a chance to win the West I see Tech getting revenge in a big way with or without Nick Mullens starting for Southern Miss.
Louisiana Tech 55 Southern Miss 24
FAU at Middle Tennessee
Nothing on the line except bowl positioning for the Blue Raiders. The Owls have lost eight straight to MTSU and need a win to avoid a third straight 3-9 season. I see this game being a shootout. MTSU can’t stop the run and that’s one thing FAU is fantastic at. I would like to choose FAU but their defense hasn’t fared any better. MTSU wins a shootout.
Middle Tennessee 45 FAU 40
FIU at Old Dominion
The Monarchs have a chance to win the division still. That, and a senior class who will want to finish their careers as the first nine-win team in ODU history at the FBS level will turn this one into a blowout.
Old Dominion 47 FIU 24
North Texas at UTEP
UTEP can’t stop the run and that is exactly what North Texas wants to do. The status of Mason Fine is up in the air but whoever takes snaps for the Mean Green should be capable enough of moving the ball.
North Texas 31 UTEP 21
Charlotte at UTSA
The quarterback play has me feeling a bit nervous for the UTSA fans. Charlotte is a pesky enough time to be in this game to the end. Can Johnson or Sturm make a few plays to prevail? The Alamodome could potentially be rocking to witness UTSA chance to go bowling. Their offense will struggle, but the defense will win the day and make UTSA bowl eligible.
UTSA 24 Charlotte 14
Rice at Stanford
Nope. Stanford big in what will be a swan song for Christian McCaffrey.
Stanford 35 Rice 10