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Conference USA Game Picks

Conference USA now has one team, Houston (#22, 25), ranked in the top 25, and two others in SMU and Southern Miss just on the outside looking in. Top teams Houston and Southern Miss have the week off, while others like SMU and UCF have a shot to strengthen their case in C-USA. This week there are five games, and all of which are in conference. Here are this week's Conference USA game picks.

[7] UTEP (2-3, 0-2) @ [10] Tulane (2-4, 1-1) 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday October 15th - Fox College Sports

UTEP had the week off last week, and hasn't played since taking on #22 Houston in the Sun Bowl on September 29th. The Miners are expected to be back at 100%, and well prepared for Saturday's game. Tulane lost a heartbreaker last week 37-34 to Syracuse. They've now lost three in a row, and weren't even competitive in the other two. The Miners have had their share of trouble, not only in New Orleans, but everywhere on the road in C-USA. Hopefully this week will change all that.

Projection: UTEP 31, Tulane 21

[8] Rice (2-3, 1-1) @ [6] Marshall (2-4, 1-1) 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday October 15th

Rice downed Memphis 28-6 last Saturday, but the Tigers were actually able to move the ball on the Owls. If not for a few turnovers and stalled drives in Rice territory, we might have seen a much closer game. The Thundering Herd is coming off a messy game against UCF in which rain dominated the entire contest. They lost that game 16-6, but that's not to say they aren't capable. Sure Marshall is young and inconsistent, but this team is lightyears ahead of what the Owls faced last week.

Projection: Marshall 27, Rice 21

[3] SMU (4-1, 2-0) @ [4] UCF (3-2, 1-0) 3:30 p.m. ET, Saturday October 15th

This is by far the C-USA game of the week. Both teams are currently undefeated in conference, and both are expected to be contenders in the conference race. SMU had the week off last week, and knocked off No. 20 TCU the week before that. UCF was able to knock off Marshall last Saturday, and get back on the winning track after dropping consecutive games against FIU and BYU. The question here is how good is that UCF defense? They've been tough so far, but their opponents haven't exactly been the strongest either. This will be a good test for them at home against a team coming off a top 20 win.

Projection: SMU 24, UCF 14

[9] East Carolina (1-4, 1-1) @ [11] Memphis (1-5, 0-2) 7:00 p.m. ET, Saturday October 15th

The wheels have certainly come off the Pirate's wagon over the last couple of weeks, and it was all capped by a 56-3 loss at the hands of Houston last Saturday. The Tigers are coming off a 28-6 loss at Rice, and as an opponent they've become the next best thing to a bye week. ECU will be looking to get back on track against Memphis, but with the way the Pirates have been playing, I think anything is possible.

Projection: ECU 38, Memphis 14

[12] UAB (0-5, 0-2) @ [5] Tulsa (2-3, 1-0)

UAB is well on its way to their most disappointing year in quite some time. They are now 0-5, and fell to Mississippi St. 21-3 last Saturday. Tulsa is 2-3 on the season, and sitting exactly where we thought they'd be at this point. They had the week off last week, and now prepare to face one of the worst teams in conference on their home field. Normally, that would be a sure win for Tulsa, but I'm still not completely sold on the Hurricane, and the Blazers SHOULD have the talent to keep this one close.

Projection: Tulsa 34, UAB 28