With a new look, new teams, and new rivals, the 2013 C-USA season had a lot of questions going into the season. Tulsa was suppose to run away with the conference, they finished 3-9, nobody expected North Texas and Tulane to sit up top the west division at points of the season.
Most knew the east would come down to Marshall and East Carolina who both had solid seasons, Rice had high hopes and lived up to it from the competitive Texas A&M loss, en-route to the conference crown.
C-USA was suppose to be top heavy this season with so many question mark teams coming in, and early on in the season the question was could the conference have enough bowl eligible teams to fill their allotment.
Teams like Middle Tennessee, UTSA, and FAU made late season charges to give C-USA 8 bowl eligible teams, though 6 will go bowling.
Lets take a look at how we rank the C-USA and who are the best of the best in 2013.
14. Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (1-11, 1-7) Pre-Season Rank: #9
The Golden Eagles snapped their losing streak by putting up 62 points to end the season against UAB with a win. Quarterback Nick Mullens really improved as the season went on, but will need some help as does the rest of the roster. He threw for five touchdowns against UAB, which was a school record, and the Golden Eagles had their first 100 yard rusher of the season. How long will this program be down is the question going forward.
13. FIU Golden Panthers (1-11, 1-7) Pre-Season Rank: #14
The Golden Panthers finished no better than 115th in rushing, passing and scoring offense in the FBS. The depth on both sides of the ball is evident. Ron Turner has a huge task at hand heading into the off-season. They finished right were we thought, this could be an every season type of ranking for the next couple of years for FIU.
MVP: Charles Ross, Rice
Offensive MVP: Shane Carden, ECU
Defensive MVP: Kevin Byard, Middle Tennessee
Special Teams: Carl Salazar, Tulane
Freshman of the Year: Aaron Jones, UTEP
Coach of The Year: David Baliff, Rice
Miner Rush All C-USA Teams
First Team Offense
Quarterback: Shane Carden, ECU
Running Backs: Charles Ross, Tulsa, 1252 yards rushing, 14 TD's
Trey Watts, Tulsa, 1329 yards rushing 11 TD's, 46 rec 395 receiving yards
Receivers: Justin Hardy, ECU, 105 rec 1218 yards 8 TD's
Tommy Shuler, Marshall, 97 rec, 1097 yards, 9 TD's
Tight End: Gator Hoskins, Marshall, 44 rec, 717 yards, 13 TD's
Firs Team Defense:
First Team Specialists: Cario Santos, Tulane, Brelan Chancellor, North Texas