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Conference USA Mailbag: Marketing Edition

How can C-USA schools improve their brand? Toughest games for each school and more.

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at North Texas Sean Pokorny-USA TODAY Sports

How likely do you think it is that UAB is 4-0 when Tech comes to town? - @The_DailyDragon

UDD: It’s not completely out of the question, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. Considering the situation with the Blazers, 2-2 would be respectable, 3-1 would be great. If UAB somehow finds a way to get to 4-0, however, that Tech game becomes a lot more interesting.

Do C-USA schools see football attendance increase this season and what marketing methods seem to be the most effective from C-USA programs? - @WeAreBLUENITED

UDD: I think a surge in interest in the FIU and FAU programs could help make up for anticipated attendance dips at places like Marshall. Overall I think C-USA will have a small bump in attendance as the conference’s many start ups continue to mature. That being said, the best is probably yet to come as programs like Charlotte and UTSA develop winning programs that will bring in new fans in large markets.

As far as marketing goes it can be hard to pinpoint one particular thing that drives turnout. Schools are facing an uphill battle nation wide as the number of entertainment options provided to us increase daily. I think UTEP does a fantastic job marketing their football program. When you deboard in the terminal at El Paso International Airport you’re immediately greeted by banners celebrating Miner football. Bars and restaurants all over town have UTEP memorabilia, schedule foldouts, etc.

UTEP does a phenomenal job of pushing the Miners as truly being “El Paso’s Team” which drives support from El Pasoans who may not have attended the hometown university. It’s a big reason why UTEP always finishes near the top of the conference in attendance even though the Miners have hardly been lighting up scoreboards this decade. I think that’s the ticket for C-USA and schools like UTSA and Charlotte need to model their marketing directive after them.

Why is a rivalry game like the UAB-Southern Miss game listed as a blackout? Would that still allow for @CUSATV to pick up the game? - @johnduncan

UDD: Yeah additional TV games will certainly be added as we get closer to the start of the season however don’t expect those games to wind up on premier networks. Hopefully Stadium will add additional games on their digital platform. At the absolute worst I think there’s probably a 90% chance that any game not listed as being broadcasted right now will end up on CUSA.tv.

Do you see Mason Fine as the season long starter at UNT, if not who do you see taking his place? - @AustinFromUNT

UDD: I’m not going to be surprised if true freshman Cade Pearson ends up busting the depth chart and starting a few games for the Mean Green. Seth Littrell has shown he’s not afraid of making changes at the quarterback position and Pearson has the highest upside of any quarterback on UNT’s roster. As we saw last season Mason Fine is an injury concern so Littrell’s hand might be forced.

At 6’3”, 205 pounds Pearson has really good size and a live arm. He passed for 148 yards and a touchdown on 13 of 18 attempts in UNT’s spring game. While Pearson is a true freshman he does have a jump start on learning the offense after graduating high school early to join the Mean Green for spring ball.

Which C-USA team has the best football home field advantage year after year? - @SixtyFortyShot

UDD: Home field advantage can be tough to measure. If you go simply by who has the best record at home, only Louisiana Tech (14-2, 87.5%) and WKU (17-2, 89.5%) have won over 80% of their home games over the last three years. However, these teams likely would have won most of those games regardless of location. So, a better way is to look at records at home and compare with their records on the road.

Against G5 competition (with bowl games counted as away), Louisiana Tech (25.6%), North Texas (29.6%), and UTEP (26.7%) each won in excess of 25% more games at home than they did away. However, the biggest home field advantage goes to Middle Tennessee, who won 33.1% more home games than away games over the past three years.

What is the hardest non-conference game and hardest conference game for each team?

UDD: Here’s what we think...

Charlotte: at Kansas State, at WKU

FIU: at Indiana, at Middle Tennessee

Florida Atlantic: at Wisconsin, at WKU

Louisiana Tech: at South Carolina, at WKU

Marshall: at NC State, at Middle Tennessee

Middle Tennessee: at Minnesota, at WKU

North Texas: at Iowa, at Louisiana Tech

Old Dominion: at Virginia Tech, at Middle Tennessee

Rice: vs Stanford, Louisiana Tech

Southern Miss: at Tennessee, at Louisiana Tech

UAB: at Florida, at UTSA

UTEP: at Oklahoma, at Middle Tennessee

UTSA: at Baylor, at Louisiana Tech

WKU: at Vanderbilt, at Old Dominion