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, the preseason favorites to win C-USA are not living up to the hype. You could make a point that the ship has sailed on Marshall (C-USA East favorite) and North Texas (C-USA West favorite) meeting in the conference title game.
Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss are the only undefeated teams in C-USA West while FAU and WKU are the only undefeated teams in C-USA East. While we still have half a season to go through, odds are the last team standing will be one of these four.
1. Louisiana Tech (5-1, 2-0, Last Week: #1)
A blowout win over UMass isn’t going to move the needle but you can’t fault the Bulldogs for taking care of business and extending their winning streak to five games. I thought about moving Tech down due to Southern Miss’ big win over North Texas but the Bulldogs didn’t do anything to be demoted so I’m keeping them here. The Rivalry in Dixie looks like it will be the biggest game in C-USA this year. Southern Miss has won four in a row against Tech so the Bulldogs will not only be out to secure their place atop the C-USA West standings, but seeking revenge too.
2. Southern Miss (4-2, 2-0, LW: #2)
Jack Abraham continues to show that he’s not only the most improved player in the conference, but he just might be the best QB in C-USA period. Abraham carved up the North secondary for 421 yards and three touchdowns. Quez Watkins continues his best Randy Moss impression as he averaged 24.8 yards per catch with 198 receiving yards. While the passing game will get the attention, USM might have found their rushing attack. De’Michael Harris rushed for over 100 yards. If USM can get consistent production out of their RBs, C-USA defenses can forget about holding USM under 35 points. After taking down preseason favorite North Texas, Southern Miss must take their offensive firepower on the road to face one of the best secondaries in C-USA in La Tech.
3. WKU (4-2, 4-0, LW: #4)
Check out this stat from The Athletic: WKU is 4-2 without scoring more than 20 points in any of its wins. The Tops beat Army 17-8 and allowed those eight points in what was essentially garbage time. After playing against the unique option attack, the defense will be tested yet again as Charlotte comes to Bowling Green with one of the best offenses in C-USA. The Tops are allowing 10 points per game in conference play and are peaking right when the 49ers appear to be trending down.
4. FAU (4-2, 2-0, LW: #5)
The Lane Train is back on track this year but not because of their offense, but their defense. The Owls are allowing 20 points per game in conference play with a conference best six interceptions in conference play. With a win over Middle Tennessee in the books, the Owls will remain in conference play as they host Marshall on Friday night. An FAU win would essentially eliminate Marshall from conference contention.
5. UAB (5-1, 2-1, LW: #6)
The Blazers strolled into San Antonio and asserted their will in dominate fashion as they won by 19 points. The game never really felt that close thanks to their defense. Tyler Johnston III connected on a few deep shots and that was it for the Roadrunners. The Blazers look to continue their home winning streak over a struggling ODU team.
6. North Texas (2-4, 1-1, LW: #3)
The biggest disappointment in C-USA, UNT looks broken. The defense is a mess, the offense is far too inconsistent, and the injury bug is an issue yet again. Losing at USM isn’t a deal breaker, but 2 wins halfway through the season was not part of the plan. A home game against MTSU is a must-win if UNT is to go bowling this season.
7. Middle Tennessee (2-4, 1-1, LW: #7)
Middle led 13-12 at halftime against FAU and proceeded to get shutout in the second half. The offense is a problem as there are no clear game-breakers this season. The receivers are fine but not great. The RBs aren’t terrible, but they aren’t good either. Their defense will keep them in games all year but unless someone steps up on offense a bowl game might not be in the cards.
8. FIU (3-3, 1-2, LW: #9)
Butch Davis picked up a pivotal win over Charlotte as the Panthers kept their faint hopes at a conference title alive.Anthony Jones and Napoleon Maxwell each rushed for over 100 yards and D’Vonte Price added over 80 rushing yards. That’ll do. A home game against UTEP should continue the good vibes.
9. Marshall (3-3, 1-1, LW: #10)
A lot closer than I’m sure Marshall fans would have liked, but the Herd took care of business at home against ODU. The rushing attack got going as Brenden Knox rushed for over 100 yards but I didn’t see a whole lot of improvement. A road trip to Boca to play FAU will set the tone for the rest of the season.
10. Charlotte (2-4, 0-2, LW: #8)
Charlotte is better, but the depth on defense just isn’t there yet as FIU torched the 49ers on the ground. The injury bug has been unkind to Charlotte so a lot of their second string defenders are seeing the field and they are just not ready. An upset at WKU must happen if a bowl season is to be had.
11. UTSA (2-4, 1-2, LW: #11)
Assistant Manager of the site Jared has all you need on the state of the UTSA football program after another blowout loss at home.
12. Old Dominion (1-5, 0-2, LW: #12)
ODU's Bobby Wilder said during his press conference on Monday that "I'm the head football coach of the best 1-5 team in America."— Steve Irvine (@SteveIrvine04) October 15, 2019
Kind of says it all about ODU doesn’t it?
13. Rice (0-6, 0-2, LW: #13)
The Owls were on a bye and head to UTSA as the favorite!
14. UTEP (1-4, 0-2, LW: #14)
Two weeks to prepare for a long flight to Miami to play FIU.