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Conference USA Basketball Power Rankings

Most teams have now played at least a dozen or so games on the year. Some pretenders and contenders have shown their faces, though there is still way too much basketball left to be played to get a real feel. Here is how we think the C-USA stacks up towards the end of December.

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

We send off 2013 with our second in-season installment of the C-USA Basketball Power Rankings.

Some good and bad losses have piled up in the past couple of weeks, starting with UTEP's shocking loss at home to New Orleans, though the Miners have rebounded with three straight wins, and have a chance this weekend to get to 10 wins.

Charlotte checked in at number one in our last rankings, but a bad loss to Florida State, albeit on the road dropped them down, the loss was a black eye to the composure of 49ers. However this is still a solid squad within in their front line of 6 to 7 players, depth is the question going forward though, they are still a top-5 team by the end of the year.

Southern Miss is really starting to come together after losing to Western Kentucky, the Golden Eagles breezed their way past Coppin State, and Arkansas-Little Rock to win the BVI Tropical Shootout. Neil Watson is at it again and is having an all-conference year, forward Michael Craig is playing very solid in December for a team who could win 5-straight before meeting up with LA Tech in a mid-January conference battle.

LA Tech is one of many teams who are rising along with So. Miss, Rahem Appleby has been good as advertised, Monday night's game at 11-1 Oklahoma will be one to watch. The Bulldogs can really score and are becoming a real contender for a top-seed.

Not only does LA Tech have a match-up with a power conference foe, Charlotte will face Georgia Tech, Marshall goes up against South Carolina, Rice will try to hook Texas, Tulsa visits the Gary Williams-less Maryland Terps, FIU challenges Georgetown, and Tulane versus Kansas State rounds up a nice slate of respect games heading into conference opening night on January 9th.

Here are the rankings.

16. UTSA Roadrunners (3-8) Last: (L) vs. Georgia State 99-68 Last Ranking: #16
RPI: 341 SOS: 347

15. Florida Atlantic Owls (3-10) Last: (L) vs. Elon 67-62 Last Ranking: #15
RPI: 305 SOS: 128

14. Marshall Thundering Herd (5-7) Last: (L) vs. Arkansas State 83-82 Last Ranking: #8
RPI: 233 SOS: 95

13. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (4-8) Last: (L) @ TCU 70-58 Last Ranking: #12
RPI: 186 SOS: 25

12. Old Dominion Monarchs (5-7) Last: (W) @ UNC-Wilmington 69-57 Last Ranking: #9
RPI: 218 SOS: 243

11. Rice Owls (5-6) Last: (L) @ Houston 54-52 Last Ranking: #13
RPI: 257 SOS: 236

10. North Texas Mean Green (7-5) Last: (W) vs. Wayland Baptist 81-77 Last Ranking: #11
RPI: 182 SOS: 230

9. Tulane Green Wave (7-6) Last: (W) vs. Northeastern 65-62 Last Ranking: #14
RPI: 204 SOS: 309

8. Florida International Golden Panthers (8-5) Last: (L) vs. #6 Louisville 85-56 Last Ranking: #10
RPI: 177 SOS: 337

7. Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (8-4) Last: (L) @ Cincinnati 69-48 Last Ranking: # 6
RPI: 118 SOS: 169

6. UTEP Miners (8-5) Last: (W) vs. Montana State 70-55 Last Ranking: #5
RPI: 126 SOS: 118

5. East Carolina (10-3) Last: (L) @ NC State 90-79 Last Ranking: # 7
RPI: 125 SOS: 311

4. Charlotte 49ers (8-3) Last: (W) vs. USC-Upstate 81-76 Last Ranking: #1
RPI: 94 SOS:286

3. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (10-3) Last: (W) vs. UL-Monroe 86-61 Last Ranking: #4
RPI: 96 SOS: 312

2. UAB Blazers (9-3) Last: (L) @ LSU 86-63 Last Ranking: #2
RPI: 82 SOS: 223

1. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (11-2) Last: (W) vs. Arkansas-Little Rock 74-60 Last Ranking: #3
RPI: 53 SOS: 211