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Gone Bowling: Conference USA

Getting In

Southern Miss
4-3 (3-1)

The Golden Eagles will get to a bowl, no doubt about it. Wtih UCF, at UAB, Memphis, at UTEP, and Arkansas State remaining means seven wins should be a minimum for Southern, and they'll likely get a shot to extend that win total in the CUSA Championship game. CBS thinks they'll get another shot at Tennessee in the Liberty Bowl.

East Carolina
4-4 (3-1)

The Pirates gave Va Tech everything they could in the opener and nearly walked out of Blacksburg with a win. With UAB, at Memphis, at Marshall, and Tulane left, these guys should get to at least seven wins, and if Southern Miss stumbles in conference play, they'll rep the East in the CUSA CG. CBS thinks they'll get Ball State in the GMAC Bowl.

UCF
4-3 (2-1)

The Golden Knights are kind of an enigma, taking Texas to the wire in week two but then getting blown out 12-64 by South Florida. At Southern Miss, Marshall, at UAB, at SMU, and UTEP remain, and they should be able to carve out two or three wins from that bunch. CBS thinks they'll take on Troy in the New Orleans Bowl.

Houston
4-3 (3-1)

The Cougars are the likely representative for the west in the CUSACG again after a ten win, conference title season last year. At UTEP, SMU, at Tulsa, Marshall, and Texas Southern (1AA) remain, and if they can get past UTEP and Tulsa the west is theirs again. CBS thinks they'll wind up in lovely Birmingham, AL in the PapaJohns.com Bowl against UConn.

UTEP
4-3 (2-1)

The Miners took the conference by storm with the arrival of Mike Price, but they've settled at mediocre over the past few seasons. A heartbreaker to ECU is their only conference loss, though, and Houston, at Rice, at Tulane, Southern Miss, and at UCF gives them plenty of opportunity to not only get into a bowl, but to make a run at the division and conference title. CBS has them pegged in the Texas Bowl against Kansas State.

Tulsa
4-3 (2-2)

The Golden Hurricane brought in former Arkansas OC Gus Malzahn after his unceremonious departure from Fayetteville and former HC Steve Kragthorpe left for Louisville. They've put up a lot of points, even if they've only managed four wins, and with SMU, at Tulane, Houston, at Army, and at Rice remaining, they should get to at least seven wins. CBS pegs them for a visit to the Islands against Nevada in the Hawaii Bowl.


Staying Home

Memphis
3-4 (2-1)

This is a program that was owned by Watson Brown, so what else do you expect? At Tulane, ECU, at Southern Miss, UAB, and SMU remain, and they might carve out the three needed wins to get to .500. Still, they probably won't.

UAB
2-5 (1-2)

First year head coach Neil Callaway walked into a terrible situation in Birmingham, with little talent and terrible facilities. It's no surprise they're at two wins right now, and at ECU, Southern Miss, UCF, at Memphis and at Marshall remaining, they'll maybe finish with two straight wins, but the six necessary are unlikely.

Marshall
0-7 (0-3)

Marshall sucks, and Rice, at UCF, ECU, at Houston, and UAB, will all likely get a win over the Herd to keep them winless for the year.

Tulane
2-5 (1-2)

The Green Wave put up a great fight against LSU, but that's really all they can say for themselves so far. Memphis, Tulsa, UTEP, at Rice, and at ECU remain.

Rice
1-6 (1-2)

I bet the Owls wish Major Applewhite was still calling the plays. At Marshall, UTEP, at SMU, Tulane, and Tulsa remain, and they can possibly carve out a win or two from that bunch.

SMU
1-6 (0-3)

The Mustangs have tried their best to get past the death penalty, and looked like they were on the way back last season. This year, though? Not so much. At Tulsa, at Houston, Rice, UCF, at Memphis