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Week 3: Miner Rush's Conference USA Power Rankings

Lot's of movement as we are starting to get a more accurate sense of the C-USA Power Rankings.  Understand that these rankings are a reflection of where teams stand right now, and are not a prediction of where I think they will stand at the end of the season.  Marshall, in a losing effort, still made a move up the charts because I was so impressed with their defensive line and pass rush.  UCF is in the midst of a full blown quarterback controversy and Houston is looking more and more like the cream of the crop.


Stock:  Down 1

 #12:  The Memphis Tigers (0-2)

Last Time:  Lost to East Carolina 49-27

Dashing Away?:  Ryan Williams is back in at QB instead of FedEx’s Cannon Smith (Son of Fred Smith).  What’s scary about Memphis is that they’ve given up 49 points a game in their first two and Middle Tennessee State can move the ball.  If MTSU QB Dwight Dasher is ruled eligible to play Saturday, this one could be ugly.
Next Up:  Middle Tennessee State

Stock:  Up 1

 #11:  The Tulane Green Wave (1-1)

Last Time:  Lost to Ole Miss 27-13

Moral Victories Accepted:  The SEC’s Ole Miss came in to the Super Dome and Tulane showed they have some fight in them yet.  I had to reward the Wave for hanging tough with the Rebels.  Also, I think this will save me some time because I’m pretty sure Memphis is about to suffer a terrible loss while Tulane gets the week off.

Next Up:  Bye (Plays at Houston next Saturday)


Stock:  Same

 #10:  The UAB Blazers (0-2)

Last Time:  Lost to SMU 28-7

The Hot Seat:  Make no mistake about it, Neil Callaway is sweating bullets right now.  All summer long he kept talking about how a bowl game was on the horizon and how his team needed to win this season.  I just saw Troy nearly beat Oklahoma State.  I think 0-3 is a distinct possibility.

Next Up:  Home vs. Troy



 Stock:  Down 1

#9:  The Rice Owls (1-1)

Last Time:   Beat North Texas (32-31)

Fanuzzi Time:  Quarterback Taylor McHargue had looked solid in Rice’s first games but he’s been knocked out by injury allowing last year’s starter Nick Fanuzzi a second chance at the gig.  Rice absolutely had to get the win against UNT because their schedule is packed full of money games.  I realize its wrong to drop Rice a spot after a win, but this early on movement like that is possible as we see more of each squad.

Next Up:  Northwestern comes to town Saturday


Stock:  Down 3


#8:  The UTEP Miners (1-1)

Last Time:  Lost to Houston 54-24

The Offensive Defense:  UTEP falls behind Marshall because of just how impressive Marshall’s defense looked against West Virginia’s powerful rushing attack.  UTEP’s schedule sets them up for another push up the rankings, though.

Next Up:  Saturday, New Mexico St. Aggies in the Battle of 1-10



Stock:  Up 2


 #7:  The Marshall Thundering Herd (0-2)

Last Time:  Lost to West Virginia 24-21 (OT)

No Moral Victories:   The Herd came incredibly close to helping the C-USA pick up their first win against a BCS conference foe last weekend.  Tron Martinez’s fumble late in the game will surely live on in Marshall infamy for years to come.  Even in the loss, it was easy to see, however, that Marshall might have the best defensive front 7 in the C-USA. 
 Next Up:  Saturday at Bowling Green


Stock:  Up 1


#6:  The Southern Miss.  Eagles (1-1)

Last Time:  Beat Prairie View 34-7

Rock Chalk?  USM finally started throwing the ball to DeAndre Brown and he had a monster game against Prairie View (5 catches for 100 yards and a TD).  Austin Davis (11/18, 178, 1 TD, 1 INT) needs a big game to silence those calling for more Martevious Young.  Which Kansas team will show?

Next Up:  Friday, the Kansas Jayhawks come to town (ESPN)



Stock:  Up 1


#5:  Tulsa Golden Hurricane (1-1)

Last Time:  Beat Bowling Green 33-20

Can They Finally Do It?  G.J. Kinne has TU’s offense rockin’ and rolling right now.  Tulsa, with all their success over the last several years, is still searching for a marquee win.  Troy pushed Oklahoma State to the limit last week.  Can Tulsa beat their cross state rival at Stillwater? 

Next Up:  Saturday at Oklahoma State



         Stock:  Same 

 #4:  The SMU Mustangs (1-1)

Last Time:  Beat UAB 28-7

The Pony Express:  Kyle Padron tossed for four touchdowns in SMU’s 28-7 drubbing against UAB, but the real story is the ground game.  Zach Line carried 16 times for 122 yards (7.6 ypc) to lead the Pony’s.  Cause for concern?  Kyle Padron is only hitting on 54.9%  of his passes in the early going .  Does he miss Emmanuel Sanders?

Next Up:  Home vs. Washington State (CBS College Sports)



Stock:  Down 1


#3:  Central Florida Knights

Last Time: Lost to N.C. State 28-21

The Hook:   Well, it looks like the Rob Calabrese era in Orlando might be giving way to the time of Jeff Godfrey.  Godfrey lit a fire under the UCF offense and almost gave them a chance to knock off the ACC’s Wolfpack.  Expect a big opening game for Godfrey .

Next Up:  Saturday at Buffalo


Stock:  Up 1


#2:  East Carolina Pirates (2-0)

Last Time:  Won 49-27 at Memphis

Air Raid vs. Air Raid?  The way this season is going, and I realize we’re only two weeks in, it looks like it could be a battle of Mike Leach descendants in the C-USA title game.  ECU is averaging 50 points a game.  Can the Pirates knock Virginia Tech down to 0-3?

Next Up:  Saturday at Virginia Tech (



Stock:  Same

 #1:  The Houston Cougars (2-0)

Last Time:  Won 54-24 against UTEP

Critics Silenced:  I have to admit I was impressed with Houston’s defense.  They still struggle to get to the quarterback but they are definitely more athletic and more aggressive under Brian Stewart.  Expect C-USA to get their first win against a BCS foe when the Cougars plow UCLA.

Next Up:  Saturday at UCLA (Fox Sports)