Conference USA power rankings
BY BILL HAISTEN World Sports Writer
Sunday, August 19, 2012
2012 College Football
Preview: What to expect from OU, OSU and TU this football season.
An excellent defensive front seven complements an offense that lost key performers but should remain prolific.
In the secondary, TU has four senior starters who have combined for 78 starts and 22 interceptions.
QB Garrett Gilbert was a high school superstar but couldn't function at Texas.
Last season, the Miners were 104th nationally in total defense and 92nd in pass defense.
If UTEP was bad on defense last year, Rice was worse (33 points and 462 yards allowed per game).
The Green Wave has a pretty good QB (Ryan Griffin) and linebackers, but not much else.
1. Southern Miss
The defending C-USA champion Golden Eagles have Nebraska, Boise State and Louisville on the nonconference schedule.
Unless the university succeeds in an appeal to the NCAA, Knights won't be eligible for the C-USA title game or a bowl because of sanctions.
3. East Carolina
After five consecutive bowl appearances, the Pirates were 5-7 last season.
Thundering Herd goes to battle with a rebuilt offensive line.
Since the start of the 2009 season, Tigers are 5-31 overall, 2-22 in C-USA.
Last season, the Blazers were 81st nationally in total defense and 114th in defense.