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Marshall v Cincinnati

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Conference USA Power Rankings Week 5

Marshall and North Texas rise near the top after huge wins, while Middle Tennessee stumbles to the bottom as injuries continue to derail their season. 

Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

The Conference USA Power Rankings are never a prediction for how things will end up, but rather a snapshot of how teams look at the moment. At the moment, C-USA is living up to the hype of being an intriguing conference to follow this season. It's early, but the division races in C-USA East and C-USA West are shaping up to be really compelling.

1. UTSA (3-0, Last Week: #1)

The Roadrunners had the week off and will begin conference play with a home game against Southern Miss.

2. Louisiana Tech (3-2, 1-0, LW: #2)

It took a lot longer than expected, but the Bulldogs were able to put South Alabama away for a 34-16 victory. Tech will get the chance to beat another team from the Yellow Hammer state as a road game against UAB is on deck.

3. Marshall (3-1, LW: #6)

Welcome back, Marshall! Marshall went to Cincinnati and whopped the Bearcats 38-21 and proved that the Herd are a serious contender for the C-USA Championship. Chase Litton threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns, with three of them going to Ryan Yurachek. The defense forced three turnovers and held Cincy to seven points entering the fourth quarter. It was a performance reminiscent of the Marshall of old. It only took a year, but it appears Marshall is back.

4. North Texas (3-2, 2-0, LW: #10)

I’ve been sleeping on North Texas all year as I thought the offense was still a year away from being able to scare C-USA defenses on a weekly basis. After last week’s performance on the road against Southern Miss in which Jeffrey Wilson rushed for 148 yards and Jalen Guyton had 211 receiving yards, I’m a believer now. The Mean Green have the best offense in C-USA. UNT is on a bye and will host UTSA next Saturday in a game that will have huge division title ramifications.

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

The Monarchs had a much needed bye week to get healthy and will host FAU this Saturday.

6. Southern Miss (2-2, 0-1, LW: #4)

The lost to North Texas wasn’t really surprising. However, the fact that they allowed over 40 points was. The best run defense in C-USA couldn’t stop the best running back in C-USA and that was the game. Well, that and Jay Hopson and co. being out-coached by Seth Littrell and his staff. Two weeks to prepare, and USM had zero adjustments ready for UNT.

7. WKU (2-2, 0-1, LW: #7)

The Tops were on a bye week and head to El Paso to play UTEP. Given the state of UTEP, this is a get right game for the Tops. Anything less than a blowout would be disappointing.

8. FIU (3-1, 2-0, LW: #10)

The Panthers nearly had an embarrassing loss to Charlotte but rallied behind the play of Alex McGough and escaped with a 30-29 win. It was a resilient win, but I’m worried that the Panthers have been winning with smoke and mirrors. For the second straight season the Panthers have started conference play 2-0 and given the bad injury luck at Middle Tennessee, a road win to make it 3-0 in back-to-back seasons isn’t far fetched. I still think we haven’t seen this team play their best ball so you have to give them credit, no matter how suspect their performances have been to this point.

9. FAU (2-3, 1-0, LW: #11)

The nine-game losing streak to Middle Tennessee is over. Devin Singletary may not be the best running back in C-USA, but he’s definitely near the top as he had another outstanding performance, rushing for 133 yards and four touchdowns. Kendall Briles and Lane Kiffin have adjusted to being a run-first team, and as long as that continues the Owls will be a dangerous out during conference play.

10. Middle Tennessee (2-3, 0-1, LW: #3)

Five weeks in and this is already shaping up to be a season of what ifs for Middle. To be clear, I don’t think MTSU is this bad. When healthy the Blue Raiders are capable of being one of the best teams in C-USA. But right now they aren’t healthy. Any shot at the division title requires a victory this Saturday over FIU.

11. UAB (2-2, 0-1, LW: #9)

The Blazers were on a bye and will try to defeat Louisiana Tech for the first time in school history this Saturday.

12. Rice (1-4, 1-1, LW: #12)

Rice got blown out by Pittsburgh and continues to be inept on offense no matter who the quarterback is.

13. Charlotte (0-5, 0-1, LW: #14)

The hot seat talk for Brad Lambert among 49er fans heats up after Charlotte allowed FIU to come back. The 49ers were up 26-7 near the end of the second quarter and then proceeded to score only three points the rest of the way. Despite the loss, the offense had a pulse compared to the previous games.

14. UTEP (0-5, 0-1, LW: #13)

Sean Kugler is out at UTEP after the Miners lost to Army. Our friends at Miner Rush have the scoop on everything in El Paso right now, as UTEP will be searching for a new AD and football coach this winter.

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