2017 Conference USA Football Preview and Predictions

Welcome to the 2017 Conference USA Football Preview.  Some coaching changes are impacting the conference.  The league is good at the top but the bottom is pretty weak this season.

Conference USA Preview

C-USA EAST

Western Kentucky Hilltoppers – Mike Sanford takes over for Jeff Brohm.  He inherits an offense that led the nation in scoring and returns their starting QB Mike White.  Will Sanford change too much?

Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders – QB Brent Stockstill will keep them in every game.  If the defense can improve upon being 109th last season in scoring, it could challenge the Hilltoppers for the league championship.

Old Dominion Monarchs – Surprisingly won 10 games last year.  An experienced offensive line and skill position players will ease the transition for the new QB.  They’ve got to keep the turnover margin like last year where they were tied for 4th best in the nation.

Florida Atlantic Owls – Lane Kiffin has taken over the program.  He has a team with skill position talent which he’ll need to utilize in what should be a lot of shootouts.  Last season, the scoring defense was 123rd.

Florida International Golden Panthers – Butch Davis is now the head coach and has an experienced team.  He’s got to turn that experience in to better production as the offense was 106th in scoring and the defense 104th last season.

Charlotte 49ers – showed some signs last year of being ready to win but lost some close games.  Can they pull through this year?  With a scoring offense that ranked 94th and defense that was 102nd, there’s room for improvement everywhere.

Marshall Thundering Herd – Can they win the battle in the trenches?  The offensive and defensive lines need to step up.  After falling to 3-9 last season, expectations are low.

C-USA WEST

Louisiana Tech Bulldogs – They were the nation’s second highest scoring team last year but will replace their QB.  The defense is going to have to improve from 97th last year to help an offense that might not score as much as it did last year.

UTSA Roadrunners – Passing game should be a strength.  Scoring margin was 29.2-27.9 last season but they weren’t in many close games.  Can they be competitive week in and week out in 2017?

Southern Miss Golden Eagles – Could take a step back this season.  They should rely on the running game while working in a new starter at QB.  The defensive front is new and must improve from tied for 74th in scoring last season.

Rice Owls – The defense must get better than tied for 114th it was last year.  The offensive line will carry the offense and try to ease the transition to new QB.

North Texas Mean Green – It was feast or famine in 2016 for the Mean Green.  They made a bowl game despite just five wins.  They need playmakers this year to get back to the postseason.

UTEP Miners – The defense is experienced but was 105th in scoring last season.  Offense lacks playmakers.  It’ll be a long season in El Paso.

UAB Blazers – They restart the football program after it was shutdown for two season.  They brought in many JUCO players to help try to be competitive from the start.  You can’t just throw a team together and expect it to win right away.

2017 Conference USA Predictions

Predicted Record
C-USA EAST W L CONF W CONF L
Western Kentucky 11 1 8 0
Middle Tennessee 8 4 7 1
Old Dominion 7 5 5 3
Florida Atlantic 5 7 4 4
Florida International 5 7 3 5
Charlotte 4 8 2 6
Marshall 2 10 1 7
Predicted Record
C-USA WEST W L CONF W CONF L
Louisiana Tech 9 3 7 1
UTSA 7 5 5 3
Rice 5 7 5 3
Southern Miss 6 6 5 3
North Texas 4 8 3 5
UTEP 1 11 1 7
UAB 1 11 0 8

2017 Conference USA Football Championship Game Prediction

Western Kentucky over Louisiana Tech

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Make your picks for week 1 of the 2017 College Football season!