2012 CUSA West Football Projections

By: Maize_in_Spartyland

 

Now just 19 days from the beginning of college football, its time to unveil the 2012 CUSA-West Conference projections! The Rice Owls open Thursday, August 30, at home, against the UCLA Bruins at 7:30 PM ET. Four more CUSA West members play on Saturday, with the Tulsa Golden Hurricane visiting the Iowa State Cyclones at 12:00 PM EST, the Houston Cougars hosting new FBS member Texas State Bobcats at 8:00 PM EST, the Tulane Green Wave squaring off with the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at 8:00 PM EST, and the UTEP Miners hosting the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sun Bowl at 10:30 PM EST.

 

On Sunday, September 2, rivals meet in Waco, with the SMU Mustangs facing the Baylor Bears at 6:30 PM EST.

 

Projected

Team

Overall

Conference

1

SMU

(9-3)

(8-0)

2t

Houston

(8-4)

(6-2)

2t

Tulsa

(7-5)

(6-2)

4t

UTEP

(2-10)

(2-6)

4t

Rice

(3-9)

(2-6)

6

Tulane

(1-11)

(1-7)

 

Meet the favorites . . .

 

(1) SMU Mustangs

It took awhile, but big time college football in Dallas is back. SMU was the only college program to have been given the death penalty, back in 1987. The rebuild since then was slow and tough, only producing one winning season until June Jones arrival in 2008. Jones was 1-11 in his first season, but has taken the Mustangs to three straight bowl games since then, including an 8-5 mark in 2009. If the Mustangs are going to win the West, this is the year. While they do face both UCF and Southern Miss, they draw Houston and Tulsa at home. Expect the Mustangs to come close to matching their 2009 record, if not improving upon it.

 

(2) Houston Cougars

The Cougars lost head coach Kevin Sumlin to Texas A&M in the offseason. Record setting quarterback Case Keenum is gone as well. So why is Houston picked so high? They return seven starters on defense and the schedule is pretty forgiving. The Cougars avoid Southern Miss and UCF out of the East and draw Tulsa at home. Of their home conference games, only Tulsa had a winning conference record. Still, without Keenum, don’t expect a double digit win season unless a clear leader emerges.

 

(3) Tulsa Golden Hurricane

Really, SMU, Houston, and Tulsa could finish in a three-way tie for first place. QB G.J. Kinne elected to go pro, going undrafted but signing with the New York Jets. Tulsa has to face Houston and SMU on the road, with UCF at home sandwiched in between. Really, the Golden Hurricane could go 0-4 down the stretch (they play at Arkansas before the Houston game). Still, the tough non-conference schedule didn’t hurt Tulsa last year, but it could this year. Tulsa could match last year’s win total, though matching the conference win total may be tough.

 

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

One response

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

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