UAB advances to the Conference USA Championship Game
Two seasons ago UAB didn’t have a football team. Two years later, and the Blazers will be playing in the Conference USA Championship Game. UAB defeated Southern Miss 26-23 in overtime to win C-USA West for the first time ever.
Spencer Brown’s game-winning 17-yard touchdown run set the UAB single-season rushing touchdown record with 14. Want more history? The Blazers are now ranked in the Coaches Poll for the first time ever.
After guiding UAB to an 8-5 record and their second ever bowl game in #theReturn, Bill Clark has taken the program to even newer heights as the Blazers have won 12 straight home games at Legion Field, a school record, and is now one win away from hosting the Conference USA Championship Game. Bill Clark should have won National Coach of the Year last season and was robbed. This year, Clark should definitely win Coach of the Year.
UAB’s Cinderella story continues, as the 9-1 Blazers head to Texas A&M and Middle Tennessee to close the regular season. If the Blazers beat MTSU, UAB will host the C-USA Championship Game.
Conference USA East is now a two-team race
The Blazers have punched their ticket into the C-USA Championship Game. Who their opponent will be is yet to be determined. Due to Middle Tennessee beating UTEP 48-32, Marshall has been eliminated from contention. FIU remains in the hunt after defeating UTSA 45-7.
In a scenario where the Herd beats UTSA and FIU to cause a three-way tie, the tie breaker would go to who has the best record against C-USA East opponents. FIU would lose this tie-breaker, resulting back to who has won head-to-head between MTSU and Marshall, which MTSU wins.
The path for a division title for FIU is simple. Win out. The Panthers have a road game against Charlotte and a home game against Marshall to close out the regular season. Since MTSU lost to FIU earlier in the season, the Blue Raiders need to beat UAB at home and hope FIU loses at least once.
No matter who wins the East, the winner of this year’s C-USA Championship Game will take home their first ever C-USA conference title in football.
The coaching carousel might make its way to C-USA
In our yearly C-USA predictions article, we didn’t predict too many head coaching changes happening in C-USA. Now that we’re in the beginning stages of the silly season that is the coaching carousel, it’s time to evaluate who’s on the hot seat.
There are three head coaches currently on the hot seat: Frank Wilson, Mike Sanford Jr., and Brad Lambert. The Roadrunners are 3-7 this season and are currently on a four-game losing streak. In the past two weeks they have been outscored 97-10. Wilson is 15-19 in three years as the head coach of UTSA.
My money would be on him staying another season, as he has recruited well during his tenure and if not for an injury plagued 2017 season, he would have had back-to-back bowl seasons on his resume. However, if they continue to look listless down the stretch UTSA could make a move.
Sanford took over WKU with a wealth of talent and has absolutely bombed. The Hilltoppers were picked to win C-USA last season and finished 6-7. They are 1-9 this season. With UTEP and La Tech to close the season, if WKU finishes 1-11 I think they will make the move and fire Sanford.
The last coach on the hot seat is one UDD has written about for a while now, Brad Lambert. Lambert is 21-47 in six years as the head coach. Charlotte has surpassed modest expectations this season and is currently 4-6. If Lambert finishes with a .500 record I could see Charlotte brining him back as his coordinator hires in the offseason have paid off and his relationship with the administration has always been great. The 49ers finish the season against the South Florida twins.