2012 CUSA East Football Projections

By: Maize_in_Spartyland

 

Now just 20 days from the beginning of college football, its time to unveil the 2012 CUSA-East Conference projections! The UCF Golden Knights open Thursday, August 30 at 7:00 PM ET on ESPN3 against the Akron Zips.

 

On Saturday, three Conference USA teams play at noon – all facing in-state foes – with the UAB Blazers hosting the Troy Trojans, East Carolina playing FCS Appalachian State Mountaineers, and the Marshall Thundering Herd traveling to West Virginia to take on the Mountaineers in the Friends of Coal Bowl. At 3:30 PM EST, defending CUSA Champion Southern Miss Golden Eagles will travel to Lincoln to take on Big Ten favorite Nebraska Cornhuskers on ABC/ESPN2. Memphis Tigers begin the Justin Fuente era as they host FCS Tennessee-Martin at 7:00 PM EST.

Projected

Team

Overall

Conference

1t

UCF*

(8-4)

(6-2)

1t

Southern Miss

(7-5)

(6-2)

3

East Carolina

(7-5)

(5-3)

4

Marshall

(5-7)

(4-4)

5t

UAB

(3-9)

(1-7)

5t

Memphis

(1-11)

(1-7)

 

Meet the favorites . . .

 

(1) Southern Miss Golden Eagles

First, note that UCF is not considered a favorite since they are ineligible for the postseason and therefore cannot make the CUSA Championship. USM loses QB Austin Davis and plays four non-conference teams were bowl eligible last season (Western Kentucky was not invited to a bowl). Still, the conference schedule shapes up well for Southern Miss, as they avoid Houston and Tulsa. Despite making trips to UCF and SMU, the Golden Eagles could be poised for a return to the conference title game, especially with UCF’s postseason ban.

 

(2) East Carolina Pirates

When Ruffin McNeill took over for Skip Holtz in 2010, he inherited a team coming off a 9-5 season, including a Conference USA Championship. The 2009 team was a senior-laden team, so to see a drop off in wins was to be expected. Still, many weren’t happy when McNeill posted a losing record, thanks to a Military Bowl loss to Maryland. Last year, the Pirates missed the postseason, but this ECU team is McNeill’s best yet. The Pirates draw a fairly easy set of games against West Division opponents, facing UTEP and Houston at home, and traveling to Tulane. Expect the Pirates to return to the postseason in 2012.

 

(3) Marshall Thundering Herd

Recruiting guru Doc Holliday has done a great job with a Marshall program that had fallen apart under Mark Snyder. Snyder resigned following the 2009 season, which ended in a Little Caesars Pizza Bowl victory. Holliday’s first season resulted in a 5-7 record, but the Herd went 7-6 last season. Marshall loses a fair amount of talent from last year’s team. It could be tough for Marshall to return to the postseason, especially with non-conference games against West Virginia, Ohio University, and Purdue. Games against Houston and Tulsa make the task of retuning to the postseason a bit tougher.

 

What are your thoughts on the Conference USA East projections? Tweet to us @BVTSB.

One response

  1. Pingback: New Content Added: Week of August 5th « Before Visiting The Sportsbook

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