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Conference USA Power Rankings Week 4

Its almost time for the full blown conference schedule to get underway, we get a small glimpse this week.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Just as most of us thought LA Tech would be a contender in the West, Northwestern State showed their best C-USA audition to replace FIU with a 30-27 upset in the Dogs' house.

Marshall is starting to look like a number one team, but so is Old Dominion, at least offensively the Monarchs are.

Was very impressed with the Monarchs offense, though the defense needs some work on disrupting rhythms if they want to knock off Middle Tennessee this Friday.  ODU also sported some clean white and blue helmets that were All-American material.

As for the Blue Raiders, I had them upsetting Memphis, though only nine of their drives on offense resulted in 20 yards or less. Receiver Demetrius Fraizer had a breakout game against Memphis, though I can see Middle Tennessee improve on their rushing numbers once conference play starts with Reggie Whatley.

Is Rice really that bad, or just beat up from a tough early schedule?  We will find out this week as the Owls should beat Southern Miss. Old Dominion exposed the Owls' secondary, hard to see that happening the rest of the conference schedule.  The Owls health is a huge question going forward IMO.

I think this week is a huge contender test for a battle tested UTSA squad.  Not the start most Runner fans visioned, though I think FAU will give them all they can handle, field position and turnovers will decide this interesting conference opener.

Here are my games to keep an eye on this week:

Middle Tennessee at Old Dominion, Fri, 7 p.m. Central, Fox Sports 1

UTSA at FAU, Saturday, 4 p.m. Central

Western Kentucky at Navy, Saturday, 2:30 pm Central, CBS Sports Network

Upset Alert: UTSA, Navy,

MinerRush C-USA Players of The Week:

Offense: Taylor Heinicke, Old Dominion

Defense: Dasman McCullum, So. Miss

Special Teams: Greg Joseph, FAU

RushRank (Points) Team Record Last Week This Week Last Week's Ranking
1. (39) Marshall Thundering Herd 4-0 Won, 48-17 vs Akron Bye #1
2. (34) UTSA Roadrunners 1-2 Bye @ FAU, Saturday #5
3. (33) Old Dominion Monarchs 3-1, (1-0) Won, 45-42 @ Rice vs. MTSU, Saturday #10
4. (28) Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders 2-2, (1-0) Lost, 36-17 @ Memphis @ Old Dominion, Friday #3
5. (27) UTEP Miners 2-1 Bye @ #25 Kansas State, Saturday #6
6. (25) Western Kentucky Hilltoppers 1-2, (0-1) Bye @ Navy, Saturday #4
7. (23) UAB Blazers 2-1 Bye vs. FIU, Saturday #7
8.  (17) North Texas Mean Green 2-2, (0-1) Won, 77-3 vs Nicholls State Bye #9
9. (16) Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2-2, (1-0) Lost, 30-27 vs Northwestern State @ Auburn, Saturday #2
10. (12) Florida Atlantic Owls 1-3 Lost, 20-19 @ Wyoming vs. UTSA, Saturday #8
11. (9) Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 2-2 Won, 21-20,  vs. Appalachian State vs. Rice, Saturday #12
12. (7) Rice Owls 0-3 Lost, 45-42, vs. Old Dominion @ Southern Miss. Saturday #11
13. (3) Florida International Golden Panthers 1-3 Lost, 34-3, vs. Louisville @ UAB, Saturday #13

My SB Nation Underdog Poll Ballot

1. BYU
2. East Carolina
3. Marshall
4. Cincinnati
5. Boise State
6. Northern Illinois
7, Nevada
8. Memphis
9. Navy
10. UTSA
11. Middle Tennessee
12. Colorado State
13. Central Florida
14. Temple
15. Old Dominion

SB Nation Underdog Poll

RANK TEAM POINTS PREVIOUS
1 BYU (11) 249 1
2 ECU (5) 239 2
3 Marshall (1) 216 3
4 Cincinnati 199 4
5 Boise State 191 6
6 NIU 143 5
7 Nevada 104 10
8 Navy 97 7
9 UCF 80 9
10 Colorado State 74 15
11 UTSA 61 14
12 Memphis 59 24
13 Old Dominion 51 26
14 Wyoming 47 27
15 Temple 36 23
Dropped Out: Louisiana Tech, Utah State, San Diego State, Bowling Green | Others Receiving Votes: UTEP (33), Houston (26), San Diego State (22), Louisiana-Monroe (17), Arkansas State (17), Georgia Southern (13), Air Force (11), Utah state (10), Bowling Green (10), Middle Tennessee (7), Toledo (6), WMU (3), North Texas (2), Texas State (2), Louisiana Tech (1)