Conference USA Top 5 Power Rankings: Sept. 27

By Trace Johnson

This weekend of C-USA football saw the emergence of two teams that arguably lead the rest of the pack within C-USA.  Despite this, the league is very balanced overall and it is still anyone’s league.  Let’s take a look at the C-USA top five power rankings as of Sept. 27.

1) Southern Miss

The Golden Eagles of Southern Miss responded from a disappointing home loss on Sept. 17 to Troy by getting an impressive 34-7 road victory over UTEP to move to 1-0 in C-USA play.  Southern Miss started slow against the Miners, but a 21-point second quarter gave the Golden Eagles the advantage and they never looked back.  Now at 3-1 on the season, Southern Miss is gearing up for a home game against the Rice Owls on Saturday with a chance to move to 4-1 overall and 2-0 in C-USA play.  The Golden Eagles take back the number one spot in this week’s power rankings.

2) Middle Tennessee

After an impressive come-from-behind win over LA Tech on Sept. 24, the MTSU Blue Raiders check in at number two in this week’s C-USA power rankings.  The Blue Raiders trailed the Bulldogs 27-7 mid-way through the third quarter, but outscored LA Tech 31-7 the rest of the way to secure a hard-fought 38-34 victory.  With the win, MTSU takes a 3-1 record and 1-0 record in C-USA into a road game at North Texas on Saturday.  The Blue Raiders have gotten better as the season has progressed and have shown a lot of toughness in the process, so expect MTSU to be a prime contender to get to the C-USA Championship game at season’s end.

3) Western Kentucky

The WKU Hilltoppers check in at number three in this week’s C-USA power rankings, falling from the number one position last week.  The Hilltoppers had a great chance at getting a win over an SEC opponent at home, but fell in dramatic fashion to Vanderbilt 31-30 in overtime.  Along with that, head coach Jeff Brohm announced that running back D’Andre Ferby will miss the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury.  Other notable players such as Forrest Lamp, Taywan Taylor and Anthony Wales have dealt with injuries this season as well in the early going.  The Hilltoppers take a 2-2 record into a home game with Houston Baptist on Saturday, the final non-conference game for WKU this season.  The Hilltoppers are still a prime contender in C-USA, but there are some question marks they have to work through to get to that point.

4) Louisiana Tech

LA Tech looked prime to move up in this week’s C-USA power rankings after leading MTSU 27-7 in the third quarter, but a Blue Raiders comeback win results in the Bulldogs remaining in the number four position in this week’s power rankings.  The theme of close losses in the early season continues for LA Tech and it takes a 1-3 overall record and 0-1 record in C-USA play into a home game with UTEP on Saturday.  The Bulldogs could easily be 3-1 on the season right now, but a 21-20 loss to Arkansas in Week 1 and their most recent 38-34 loss to MTSU puts them in an early 1-3 hole.  Expect LA Tech to rebound against a struggling UTEP team on Saturday and secure league win number one on the 2016 season.

5) Marshall

The Marshall Thundering Herd remain at number five in this week’s C-USA power rankings after a loss to the third-ranked Louisville Cardinals.  The Herd fell to Lamar Jackson and the Cardinals 59-28, but was without the services of starting quarterback Chase Litton who was forced to sit out the Louisville game with a concussion.  Marshall had positives against the Cardinals, but ultimately could not keep up with backup freshman quarterback Garet Morrell who was making his first career start.  Marshall head coach Doc Holliday announced today that Litton will be back for the Herd’s showdown with the Pitt Panthers on the road on Saturday.  The Herd takes a 1-2 overall record into its final non-conference game of the season and with a loss, Marshall would be two games under .500 for the first time since a 5-7 final record in the 2012 season.

Numbers 6-13

6) Old Dominion


8) North Texas


10) Florida Atlantic

11) Rice

12) Charlotte

13) Florida International