Wednesday, August 15, 2018

College Football 2018 Season Preview: Conference USA

If we all sat down and provided an honest reason we're going to pay attention to C-USA this year we'd probably all be in agreement for reason #1: Florida Atlantic and their Head Coach Layne Kiffin. Truthfully, it's the main reason we're all tuning in this season.  I think the conference has more to offer this year though, including several teams that might have a chance to pull an upset or three.

Conference Standings:
WEST W L EAST W L
UTSA 8 4 Florida Atlantic 11 1
Louisiana Tech 7 5 Marshall 8 4
UAB 7 5 Middle Tennessee 8 4
North Texas 5 7 Old Dominion 8 4
UTEP 2 10 Western Kentucky 5 6
Southern Miss 5 7 Florida International 2 10
Rice 2 11 Charlotte 2 10
Wins Division Wins Division
Conference Championship:
Florida Atlantic over UTSA
Bowl Teams: 7
CFP: None
Big Six None
CFP 2: None
Others: Florida Atlantic
UTSA
Louisiana Tech
UAB
Marshall
Middle Tennessee
Old Dominion
Most Underrated: UTSA
Most Overrated: Marshall
Coaches on Hot Seat: UTEP, Southern Miss, Rice, Florida International, Charlotte

Will Florida Atlantic be that good? Yes, I think so. Once they get past Oklahoma the schedule really evens out and Kiffin has already shown that he's dead serious about winning there.

Wait, UT-San Antonio? Yup. They've been among the more underrated teams in the conference the last couple of years and I think that trend continues this year. Don't sleep on this team. I realize that North Texas is the sexy pick, but I think UTSA is the better team.

The Layne Kiffin Effect: You have to feel for Florida International Head Coach Butch Davis. Because their main rival is Layne it's quite possible he gets the heave-ho after what I predict is going to be a bad year.

Questions:


How much NY6 buzz will FAU get?  In my opinion, not all that much.  Memphis and Boise State are clearly better teams and to get in a New Year's Six bowl I think a G5 team has to go undefeated. The Oklahoma game is going to do them in.

How does this league stack up?  They have some pretty bad teams (Rice, Charlotte, Florida International, UTEP, but some OK teams as well.  Honestly I'm a little down on North Texas, and I think Marshall is overrated as well but they're still solid teams. They could surprise some big teams come bowl time because there is talent on these rosters.

Game of the Year: Florida Atlantic @ Marshall. After Oklahoma this seems the biggest test for the Owls. If they win this......

Fun game you might overlook: Don't skip UT-SA travelling to Tempe to play Arizona State. It will be Kevin Sumlin's first game and I could see the Roadrunners giving them a scare.



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