In a week that offered the chance to finalize a few things in the league, the exact opposite happened, and now nothing will be set in stone until the final whistle on November 27.
Southern Miss 31, UCF 21- USM came in and stunned UCF on their home field, rallying from an early 14-0 deficit to run off 31 consecutive points with a smothering defense and a seemingly unstoppable offensive attack. Having now seen both in person, I’m baffled as to how they lost to UAB. Next Week: UCF at Tulane, Houston at Southern Miss
Marshall 28, Memphis 13- Another game that swung wildly, as Memphis lead 10-0 then accomplished nothing else until a 4th quarter field goal. Marshall is now on a 3 game win streak, but a tough road trip might derail their bowl aspirations once and for all. Next Week: Marshall at SMU, Memphis at UAB.
Tulane 54, Rice 49- Another C-USA West shootout that ends with Tulane clinging to hopes of getting back to 6-6, dropping Rice to the bottom of the division. Next Week: UCF at Tulane, East Carolina at Rice
Arkansas 58, UTEP 21- UTEP hung around for a while in the first half, but once Arkansas got things going, it was over for the Miners. Next Week: UTEP at Tulsa
Tulsa 28, Houston 25- Tulsa keeps rolling, but in close fashion this time. A late review reversed what could have been a devastating fumble for Tulsa, and the Golden Hurricane keep their conference hopes alive. Next Week: UTEP at Tulsa, Houston at Southern Miss
Conference USA Standings
Conference Championship Scenarios
UCF (Tulane, Memphis) remains in charge of the east despite the loss, but the pressure is on now.
East Carolina (Rice, SMU) will win the division if they win out and UCF loses another game
Southern Miss’ (Houston, Tulsa) needs a lot of help. They need ECU to drop both remaining games and for UCF to lose at least once.
Three Way Tie at 6-2: If that happened, the first tiebreaker they come to is the record vs. divisional teams. UCF stands at 3-1 right now, ECU is done at 4-1, while USM sits at 3-2. If UCF loses to Tulane and beats Memphis, they’re ok at 4-1. Southern Miss would be dropped off, and UCF would win the head-to-head tiebreaker with ECU. But, if UCF should beat Tulane and lose to Memphis, they’ll finish 3-2 in the division and ECU wins that tiebreaker. Southern Miss can’t win a 3 way tie.
SMU (Marshall, ECU) is in charge thanks to a tiebreaker against Tulsa- win out and the division is theirs.
Tulsa (UTEP, Southern Miss) needs to win out and get a SMU loss to advance.
Houston needs a lot of help too, particularly for Tulsa to lose twice and SMU at least once, as they do have the tiebreaker over SMU.
Three Way Tie at 5-3: Like the East, we’d have a 1-1 round robin result there, so it’s down to divisional results. Tulsa is at 3-1, SMU 3-2, and Houston 3-2. If Tulsa beats UTEP, they would win the division out of a 3 way tie. If Tulsa lost to UTEP but beat USM to set up the tie, then they compare records against divisional opponents in order of finish. First up would almost certainly be UTEP, who already beat SMU and now Tulsa, which would give the division over to Houston.
Championship Game Home Field
If UCF or ECU win out, the division winner will host the conference championship. If both teams drop to 6-2, then the first tiebreaker would be head-to-head play. UCF would host the game vs. Houston, ECU would host a game against Tulsa, the winner of ECU-SMU would host that rematch, etc. If the teams have not played each other, home field goes to the team with a higher BCS ranking. At the moment, I think Tulsa could be the favorite (assuming ECU & UCF lose along the way), then the East winner, then the rest of the west, but that’s just conjecture.
Week 11 Power Rankings
As usual, we have a group of teams at the top who are not terribly separate from each other, then a big drop to the mid-pack bunch, then a freefall to Memphis.
- Southern Mississippi