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 appears to be trending slightly up. Last week C-USA went 4-0 against other G5 teams, 1-1 against FBS Independents, and didn’t lost to an FCS team.
Even with some good vibes, C-USA is still missing a win over a P5 team, and with the MAC’s Eastern Michigan defeating the Big Ten’s Illinois, C-USA is now the only FBS conference to not have a win over a P5 conference.
1. Marshall (2-1, Last Week: #2)
After an abysmal performance on offense against Boise State, the Herd exploded for 511 total yards and scored 33 points against old rival Ohio, a favorite to win the MAC this season. The offense coming alive was much needed as the defense got gouged for over 400 yards and surrendered 31 points. A win is a win, though, and right now Marshall has the best non-conference win of the conference.
2. North Texas (1-2, LW: #1)
Alright hear me out, the Mean Green had the ball with 1:51 left in the game and an opportunity for a comeback win on the road against the now No. 23 ranked California Golden Bears. What other C-USA team do you believe could have come that close to defeating a respectable P5 team on the road? The offense struggled to move the ball as expected against one of the best defenses in the country, and is now on a two-game losing streak, but UNT should still be considered the favorite to win C-USA West.
3. UAB (2-0, LW: #3)
The Blazers had a bye week and host South Alabama from the Sun Belt this weekend. The Jags are allowing 184 yards per game on the ground. If Spencer Brown doesn’t have a big game I will be really worried about UAB’s running game going forward.
4. Southern Miss (2-1, LW: #4)
Southern Miss had arguably the best performance in C-USA this weekend as the Golden Eagles picked up a road win over Troy in a shootout. The offense racked up 626 yards! Jack Abraham passed for 463 yards and two touchdowns, added a rushing touchdown, and more importantly had zero turnovers. Quez Watkins and Jaylond Adams were fantastic as they combined for 18 catches for 389 yards! Watkins averaged 29.9 yards per catch while Adams averaged 16.4 yards per catch. That’ll do.
5. Louisiana Tech (2-1, LW: #5)
Tech quietly took care of business on the road against Bowling Green with a blowout victory. The defense was stout, as Amik Robertson had a pick-6. J’Mar Smith had two touchdown passes. Conference play starts at home against a reeling FIU team this weekend.
6. Charlotte (2-1, LW: #6)
The 49ers continued to show how dangerous their offense is by scoring 52 points against UMass. The Minutemen are not good, but Charlotte did what a good team is supposed to do against a bad team. Leave Clemson in one piece this weekend, and Charlotte will be in a good place to compete for bowl eligibility during conference play.
7. WKU (1-2, 1-0, LW: #7)
The Tops played in-state foe Louisville and were outclassed in a loss. The offense remains a huge question mark as WKU rushed for 42 yards and will now be without QB Steven Duncan as he tries to heal from a foot injury. WKU will be on a bye before hosting UAB.
8. FAU (1-2, LW: #8)
FAU defeated Ball State on the road for a huge win. Ball State isn’t very good, but entering the game no one for sure could say FAU was good either. Chris Robison had the best game of his career as he had a career high four touchdown passes. The defense forced four turnovers and the Owls turned them into 21 points. Lump FAU with a group of teams that will enter conference play with a lot of confidence that they can make a run for the title.
9. UTSA (1-2, LW: #9)
The Roadrunners’ defense battled but eventually was just worn down by Army’s option offense. The way the game played out looked all too familiar to recent UTSA teams. I will say that the offense looks a lot more capable than the recent iterations under Frank Wilson, but the tune-up games are over. A road-trip to UNT to start conference play is on deck.
10. Middle Tennessee (1-2, LW: #10)
The Blue Raiders did not look great at home against Duke. Rick Stockstill is continuing to stick with Asher O’Hara and the offense continues to look like a non-Tony Franklin offense. Things will get worse before they get better as they to Iowa this week.
11. Old Dominion (1-1, LW: #11)
Monarchs were on a bye week and head play the Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville this week.
12. FIU (1-2, 0-1, LW: #12)
It wasn’t pretty, but the Panthers got a much needed win over New Hampshire from the FCS with backup QB Kaylan Wiggins getting the start for an injured James Morgan. Wiggins struggled as a passer (127 yards) but excelled as a runner (187 yards). If Morgan is out again, they’ll need to repeat their success on the ground against La Tech. Considering how balanced C-USA East is, avoiding an 0-2 start is a much.
13. Rice (0-3, LW: #13)
The Owls were soundly beat against Texas, but at least they got a few jokes off.
14. UTEP (1-1, LW: #14)
The Miners were on a bye and will now host a 2-1 Nevada team.