North Texas will play in the Conference USA Championship Game
Seth Littrell’s rebuild is complete. North Texas defeated UTEP 45-10 to win Conference USA West. Two years ago UNT was 1-11. While Littrell is technically winning with mostly Dan McCarney’s players, make no mistake that all the credit belongs to Littrell and his coaching staff. It took a year for the Air Raid offense to hit its stride, but it was well worth the wait as UNT has the most complete offense in C-USA this season.
North Texas was picked to finish fourth in C-USA West this year and is a year ahead of schedule. Mason Fine is just a sophomore, and if Jalen Guyton returns with Rico Bussey and Nic Smith, UNT will be just as explosive next year. A repeat isn’t out of the question. A repeat of what exactly, remains to be seen. UNT will either play FAU or FIU in the C-USA Championship Game.
Bowl picture is getting clearer
With six teams already bowl eligible, C-USA is guaranteed that at least seven teams will reach the postseason as Middle Tennessee and WKU will play next Saturday (both teams are 5-5). As long as Louisiana Tech beats UTEP next Saturday, the season finale between La Tech and UTSA will send another team to the postseason. That’ll be team number eight.
If Old Dominion wins out they’ll be team number nine. With a few upsets, C-USA could get as many as 11 teams in the postseason. As crazy as this season has been, it wouldn’t surprise me if C-USA reached 11 bowl eligible teams or only eight.
The Shula Bowl will decide who wins Conference USA East
Technically, for FIU to win C-USA East they must win out and have FAU lose the season finale to Charlotte. So it’s only a win and you’re in situation for FAU. Nonetheless, next Saturday’s Shula Bowl will be the biggest Shula Bowl ever.
Throughout the history of the Shula Bowl, neither team has been good at the same time. For the first time in Shula Bowl history, both FAU and FIU will meet as bowl eligible teams.
With Lane Kiffin and Butch Davis making waves in their first season and drawing headlines to the conference, the Shula Bowl is the biggest game in C-USA this year. As long as Kiffin and Davis remain on the sidelines, the Shula Bowl could be the biggest game in C-USA for many years down the line.