Conference USA continues its existence as a league in transition. New members arrive for the 2013 season, and other longer-time members will play their last year in the league. One of the departures is perennial favorite Central Florida, and others include Houston and SMU who consistently contended for division titles and produced high-powered offenses.
The quality of play in C-USA is going to be hard to maintain, but if you want excitement, this league does promise an interesting race.
East Carolina looks to set the pace in the East, but there are viable challengers, led by Marshall and its exciting quarterback Rakeem Cato. The West appears to be a little more stable at the top, with Tulsa and Rice seeming the clear favorites. But the one thing we’ve learned over the years in Conference USA football is that nothing is at it seems.
Tulsa brought home the conference championship in 2012 and looks to do the same again this year. The college football coverage at the links below breaks down each division in more detail and makes predictions on both.
TheSportsNotebook has opted to cut against the grain in the East, and take Marshall to upend East Carolina. In the West, I’m going with Rice to edge out Tulsa. This league’s championship game is played at a homefield site based on merit. I’ll give a very narrow edge to Rice to host the game and win the crown.
But the phrase “narrow edge” has to be kept at the forefront of our minds as we evaluate this conference week-to-week. Batten down the hatches, it’s time for another wild C-USA ride.