Houston, Memphis, & UCF, & SMU left for the AAC, the old Big East, and FIU, FAU, MTSU. UTSA, & LTech joined the CUSA.
1) Marshall – Rakeem Cato threw 37 TDs last season and if the herd can find a litle D they could win the East.
2) East Carolina- The Ruff & Ready Pirates will need an upgrade in defense, but the same can be said for the most CUSA teams. Keep your eyes on QB Shane Carden.
4) Middle Tennessee: Blue Raider D is suspect so much of the burden will rest on SR QB Dudtin Kilgore tossing the ball to WR Jordan Parker.
5) Southern Miss- Can the Eagles get our of their nest? New HC Monken has plenty of starting positions to fill, particularly at QB since Alford & Favor transferred. Coach Monken won’t name the starting QB until the opener on Aug 31. I’ll roll the dice and say Ricky Lloyd, a Cal transfer, gets the nod.
6) Florida Atlantic : Carl Pellini, Bo’s brother, need to step on the gas in year 2 of term. Both lines are weak and their best players are Dukes , a WR, and Dorvilus, a TE. This look like another long season.
6) UAB: Coach McGee’s Blazers haven’t made new trails and will likely depend heavily on Darrin Reeves (1,037 yards, 13 touchdowns).
7) Florida International- Ron Turner’s return to head coaching in college will be rocky. A lot rides on Medlock, the QB staying healthy and learning a pro style offense.
1) Louisiana Tech – They pulled some big upsets last year and their transition from the defunct WAC may not be too difficult. Season could be great if Holtz Jr can fill Sonny Dykes coaching shoes.
2) Tulsa lost a lot of good players and much rests on RB Trey Watts (1,108 yards)
3) Rice: Owls O will need to be huge with their suspect D. Mchargue will start at QB, but it may not take much for Driphus Jackson to take the reins
4) North Texas was improving gradually in the Sunbelt. QB Derek Thompson returns after throwing for 2,649 yards and 14 TDs, and he’ll lead the Mean Green to some CUSA wins, but the Sept 21 OOC game @ Georgia will be brutal.
6) Texas-San Antonio- Coach Coker has won plenty of games wherever he’s coached. Can he keep UTSA on the rise. A lot depends on Sr QB Eric Soza, who completed 59% of his passes for nearly 2,100 yards and 20 TDs in 2012 and tossed only three interceptions.
6) Tulane: Could Nick Montana, Joe’s son and a transfer from UW, be the Green Waves savior?
7) UTEP offense was always fun to watch under Coach Mike Price. Now , it’s Sonny Kugler’s turn. Miners got some digging to do.
Cato led the Marshall Herd storming Miami of Ohio. I was surprised by N Tex’ big win over Idaho. Nice win by UTSA over New Mexico.
Tulane, MTSU, & ECU beat FCS opponents.
USM & UAB lost close one to Sunbelt schools, respectively, TX St & Troy
Ugly week for Tulsa, FAU, FIU, LTech, & Rice
UTEP was idle
Week 2: Times are sure tough for two of the Sunbelt additions, FAU & FIU, to the CUSA, who lost respectively to ECU & UCF.
Tulsa got a much needed win against Col. St. Tulane led by Nick Montana fell just short against S. Alabama & UTEP came close against the Lobos of New Mexico. NTex gave Ohio a fight before losing.
Marshall & LTech beat FCS opponents.
USM, UAB, MTSU, & UTSA lost resepectively to these big timers: Nebraska, LSU, UNC , &OK St.. MTSU and UTSA put up decent battles.
Rice was idle. Marshall (Cato’s Kids) & ECU are undefeated.