CUSA had a memorable week. FAU had a statement win that is bringing (even more) national notice. North Texas got a reailty check. WKU looked vulnerable again. Marshall looked complete, and Charlotte got relief.
Let us rank this league:
Looking Really Good
1. FAU (5)
Destroying the CUSA West leader in dramatically dominant fashion is enough to rocket this team to the top. FAU is playing really well and a shaky WKU and really good Marshall will tell us if this team is for real or if they feasted on a vulnerable UNT team coming off an emotional game against UTSA.
2. Marshall (2)
Marshall would have taken this spot if FAU were not so impressively dominant. The question hanging over this Herd team is if they can score efficiently while keeping their stout defense. FIU is up next before a very huge and large showdown with the FAU squad that is hot.
3. Southern Miss (3)
How about Southern Miss following up the tough loss at home against UNT with wins over UTSA, UTEP, and La Tech? The win in Ruston was huge for Jay Hopson as Keon Howard played well down the stretch to lead the Golden Eagles to a comeback win in double OT. They have been explosive on offense and decent enough on defense. They need a little help from other teams on the NT schedule to retake the top spot but USM looks really good.
Good But Glaring Flaws
4. WKU (8)
WKU survived ODU and gets the benefit of the doubt for avoiding the weirdness of a Friday night game. The Hilltoppers are very shaky and take on a team that is hot and out for blood.
5. UNT (1)
Yes, a precipitous fall for our favorite football team. Whatever momentum and fun was gained by beating UTSA in dramatic fashion was used up (and them some) after being vivisected by FAU. The Mean Green control their destiny in CUSA West, but their pride is hurt. A weak ODU team comes to Denton next week, and that should be a blowout if FAU did not mentally destroy the squad.
6. UTSA (7)
UTSA could have risen higher if they played better against Rice, but injuries and a UNT hangover prevented that. Marcus Davenport dominated yet another game and Tyrell Clay ran for lots of yards but Rice had an outside shot of stealing this one late — or at least making it interesting. UTEP is up next week and that should be a blowout if this team is what we think it is.
No More Benefit Of The Doubt
7. La Tech (4)
The Bulldogs are now 1-2 in league play after dropping games to both UAB and USM. The preseason favorites to win the division are not out of things yet — a win against Rice and NT in the next two weeks will go a long way toward righting things — but Tech basically needs USM to lose to both UAB and Marshall, and UAB to lose to UTSA, and of course, win out.
Kind of Depends On The Day
8. UAB (6)
Losing to Charlotte should drop the Blazers farther down, but this was coming. UAB has been scrapping out some nice wins but were probably playing 10% above their level. Everyone still feels good about the Blazers right now.
9. FIU (9)
FIU had a bye, got some nice commits and rested up. They are playing well but being overshadowed by the fightin’ Kiffins.
10. MTSU (10)
MTSU is a shell of their former selves. While getting blown out by FAU seems reasonable now, getting trounced by Marshall even worse is unacceptable. Every team below the Blue Raiders is
11. ODU (11)
Old Dominion gave WKU a good game and nearly pulled off a win on Friday. This is a really young team that is well-coached but not ready to compete with the rest of CUSA right now.
12. Rice (12)
Rice played UTSA closer than the score indicated, but it was not enough. Rice has been playing slightly better but things are still rough in Houston.
13. Charlotte (14)
Gutsy win over a good UAB squad. Charlotte is still a bad team but they do not have the awful winless season hanging over them. Way to try to win the thing in OT by going for 2. That’s Nothing To Lose at it’s best.
14. UTEP (13)
UTEP was on a bye and fell because they are still winless and Charlotte pulled one out. So it goes. UTSA this week in which UTEP are double-digit dogs.