For the second straight year, the Conference USA Preseason Position Reviews are now in the books. If you wish to look through the series, click here.
The biggest change from last year to this year is that I did away with devoting an article to tight ends and just combined them with wide receivers. Tight ends nowadays are mainly pass catchers anyway so I graded those two position groups as one.
The grading scale is the same. Each team was awarded points based on where they were placed in our categories. Each team received three points for a “Great Shape,” two points for a “Good Shape,” and one point for a “We’ll See.”
Due to certain positions being more crucial than others, I decided to give a weighted value for quarterbacks and decrease the value of kickers and punters.
As a result, “Great Shape” at kicker and punter netted a team two points, “Good Shape” received one point, “We’ll See” got you zero points.
”Great Shape” at quarterback earned a squad four points, “Good Shape” was rewarded two points, and “We’ll See” granted you one point.
On to the results...
UAB - 21
FAU - 19
Marshall - 19
Middle Tennessee - 18
Old Dominion - 18
Southern Miss - 18
North Texas - 18
FIU - 17
Louisiana Tech - 17
UTSA - 15
Rice - 11
WKU - 10
Charlotte - 10
UTEP - 7
Notes & Observations
- UAB at the top is a bit surprising but I wasn’t completely shocked. They are the most experienced team in the conference, with upperclassmen starting just about everywhere. Expect the Blazers to pick up some first place votes when the preseason poll is released.
- Last year UNT was really undervalued in my Conference USA Preseason Position Reviews. This year that team is La Tech. In my eyes they have one of the most talented rosters in the conference. If they reach their potential, there’s no question that they can outperform these numbers and win the conference.
- Once again, the bottom is really far away from competing with the best teams in the conference.
- Only three points separate the second best rosters in the conference to the fourth best roster, with eight teams in the grouping. On any given Saturday anyone could lose during conference play.
- UTEP and Charlotte were the only teams to not appear in “Great Shape” at any position.
- UTEP was the only team that didn’t appear in “Good Shape” at any position. They received a “We’ll See” at every position.
- Many see FAU as the clear favorite but due to recording zero points at kicker and punter, they finished second. Special teams is something to watch for with this team.
- Marshall received a conference best six position groups in “Great Shape” but like FAU, received zero points at kicker and punter.
- Positions with the most “Great Shape”: Defensive Line (7), Wide Receiver & Tight Ends (6), Kicker (5)
- Positions with the most “We’ll See”: Quarterback (8), Kicker (8)
C-USA preseason ballot... according to the preseason review series
Conference USA East
3. Middle Tennessee
4. Old Dominion
Conference USA West
2. North Texas
2. Southern Miss
4. Louisiana Tech