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, with two weeks left in the regular season the two best teams in C-USA are pretty clear. FAU and North Texas are the two most consistent teams in the league.
That’s why they’ll be meeting for a rematch in the Conference USA Championship Game. Given how inconsistent the other teams have been, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more movement from the others before we reach our final rankings.
1. FAU (7-3, 6-0, Last Week: #1)
FAU strolled through Ruston, Louisiana, and beat Louisiana Tech with relative ease. Devin Singletary was held in check by his standards, and FAU still scored over 40 points. Thanks to Old Dominion’s win over FIU, all the Owls need to do is win one of their final two games to take home Conference USA East.
2. North Texas (7-3, 6-1, LW: #2)
North Texas crushed UTEP 45-10 to win Conference USA West. Seth Littrell will get overlooked for his coaching job due to what Bill Clark is doing in Birmingham, but it’s incredible how quickly he built UNT into a winner. A home game against an 8-2 Army team is next. Last year UNT crushed Army during the season, but the Black Knights got the last laugh by winning the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
3. UAB (7-3, 5-2, LW: #3)
UAB is on a three-game winning streak after the Blazers defeated UTSA on the road. The loss against Charlotte is the only real blemish in what’s been a fantastic comeback season for Bill Clark. Up next is a road game against Florida.
4. Marshall (7-3, 4-2, LW: #5)
Snapping WKU’s three-game winning streak over Marshall should end any talk of Doc Holliday being on the hot seat. Winning the Moonshine Throwdown keeps the possibility of a 10-win season alive as the Herd will travel to San Antonio to take on a floundering UTSA team.
5. FIU (6-3, 4-2, LW: #4)
Any shot of a C-USA East division title went out the window with their home loss to Old Dominion. The defense got torched by Ray Lawry for 168 yards. Not a good sign with Devin Singletary and the FAU Owls up next. Though it’s not a winner-take-all Shula Bowl for C-USA East, it’s still a huge opportunity for Butch Davis as he can make amends for the beatdown against UCF. Going 0-2 against FAU and UCF will certainly be brought up on the recruiting trail.
6. Southern Miss (6-4, 4-2, LW: #6)
It wasn’t easy, but Southern Miss escaped Houston with a narrow win over Rice to clinch bowl eligibility. A home game against Charlotte is next. Last year Southern Miss suffered an embarrassing home loss to the 49ers.
7. Middle Tennessee (5-5, 3-3, LW: #10)
The Blue Raiders didn’t really do anything special over the last two weeks as they only defeated Charlotte and UTEP, but at a time when they could have folded they didn’t and that says a lot about the mental state of the locker room. Rick Stockstill has a chance to earn a bunch of goodwill with the MTSU fan base if he can snap WKU’s two-game winning streak in 100 Miles of Hate.
8. WKU (5-5, 3-3, LW: #8)
So many questions surrounding the playcalling in the loss to Marshall. WKU can’t run, and only tries to run in the red zone. If you can’t run and you know it, why even try at all? The Tops ran the ball 19 times for 34 yards against Marshall. That’s terrible, and the timing of the run plays is what ultimately ruined WKU’s chances to beat Marshall. Next up is 100 Miles of Hate at home.
9. Old Dominion (4-6, 2-4, LW: #11)
Steven Williams had the best game of his young career, going 17-of-24 for 240 yards, two touchdowns, and more importantly, zero turnovers. The upset over FIU keeps ODU’s bowl hopes alive. Given Williams’ progression, a bowl game would do wonders for his growth next year. Next up, senior day against an improving Rice team.
10. UTSA (5-4, 2-4, LW: #7)
Frank Wilson has to really evaluate whether this offensive philosophy is worth keeping going forward. I know injuries along the offensive line have been a killer but to see Sturm’s senior season be wasted due to a lack of adjustments is disheartening. Senior day against a tough Marshall defense looms.
11. Louisiana Tech (4-6, 2-4, LW: #9)
It’s shocking to have La Tech this low but the Bulldogs just don’t have it this year. La Tech must win their final two games to reach a bowl game. A sneaky road trip to El Paso to take on a winless UTEP team is next on the schedule. Don’t sleep, La Tech.
12. Charlotte (1-9, 1-5, LW: #12)
A great opening drive to start the game from both units and then nothing else the rest of the way. The lack of playmakers on this team beyond Hasaan Klugh is concerning looking into 2018.
13. Rice (1-9, 1-5, LW: #13)
The Owls have figured out how to score points. Nahson Ellerbe rushed for 153 yards and four touchdowns in the narrow loss to Southern Miss. Miklo Smalls was the best prospect in Rice’s 2017 recruiting class and the offense looked good with him at quarterback. There’s some pieces here to work with for next season. Who the head coach will be remains unclear.
14. UTEP (0-10, 0-6, LW: 14)
The season can’t end fast enough. Senior day against a vulnerable La Tech team could be UTEP’s day.