Take on Conference USA
From the Anchor Desk
Friday, October 12, 2001
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9
Conference USA Gets Just
What it Deserves in Bowl Run
We were hoping that we’d
be talking about some big Conference USA wins by this point in the season.
Unfortunately, that has
not been the case.
That’s why we can complain
all that we want about the league’s bowl situation, but it won’t do any
Do you realize that the 4th
place team in the ACC goes to a better bowl then the C-USA champion? It’s
not the Micron PC Bowl anymore, rather a new edition of the Tangerine Bowl.
Either way, the only way
the Pirates and Conference USA can improve their bowl situation is to win
some big games.
So far, it just hasn’t
A perfect season might
have given us a couple of Top 25 rankings in the league. I believe East
Carolina, Southern Mississippi and Louisville are all capable of breaking
into the national rankings.
The Cardinals were there
for a week, but then stumbled badly against Illinois. Southern Miss slips by
UAB 3-0, and then falls to Memphis.
The Pirates have losses to
both Wake Forest and North Carolina. These are two teams that were expected
to finish in the lower half of the ACC standings. I think the Deacons will
still finish there, but the Tar Heels may go bowling.
aren’t many big non-conference games left on the schedules of C-USA's teams:
Memphis plays at Tennessee in November; Southern Miss makes up its game with
Alabama at the end of November; and Houston is at Georgia on December 1st.
For the most part, one
team will have to pretty much run the table, win the league title, and hope
to get a national ranking before the bowl season.
But as even as C-USA's
teams appear to be, that may prove to be a difficult assignment as the
league's members start beating up on each other down the stretch.
Four league games are on
Saturday's slate. Memphis is at Houston, Cincinnati travels to UAB,
Tulane hosts TCU and Army, looking for its second straight win, entertains
Louisville and Southern
Miss skip Saturday in preparation for their Tuesday night showdown on ESPN2.
Now for a look at this
week's games and my updated
C-USA Power Rankings:
The Tigers' upset over
Southern Miss keeps them in the championship picture. The Cougars have won
the last two games in this series, and are 5-1 against Memphis at home in
the series. Last year’s game went three overtimes.
The Cougars will be
without the services of quarterback Kelly Robertson, who broke a bone in his
right hand against Army. Robertson is listed as day to day, but may be out
for the season. Sophomore Nick Eddy, a junior college transfer, will start
this weekend against Memphis and he will be backed up by Torrence Botts.
The Tigers picked off four
passes against Southern Miss. last weekend in their upset win.
The Bearcats are 2-0 and
very much a part of the league championship chase. True freshman quarterback
Gino Guidugli torched the Tulane Tulane defense to the tune of a school
record tying four touchdowns.
Note to Gino: NOT ALL
CONFERENCE USA TEAMS PLAY DEFENSE LIKE THE GREEN WAVE!
The Bearcats are riding a
five game league-winning streak dating back to last season.
UAB needs a dose of that
Tulane “D”, as the Blazers are firing blanks of late. The Blazers have
scored just 14 points in three road games, but they really aren’t a lot
better at home.
TCU at Tulane
Unlike UAB, the Texas
Christian DOES get a shot at the Tulane defense this week, and the Horned
Frogs should put up some big numbers. The Wave is giving up over 460 yards
per game, while the Frogs are giving up just 283 yards.
TCU is coming off of an
open date. This will be the Green Wave’s fourth home game in five contests
this season. TCU should dominate the Tulane defense, and win this game
ECU travels to TCU for the
school’s first ever Tuesday night game coming up at the end of this month.
Coach Todd Berry's Army
team comes into this game with some momentum, having dispatched of Houston
with relative ease last Saturday to improve to 1-3 on the season.
That's progress, because a year ago the Black Knights didn't pick up their
first victory until Game No. 7.
ECU, on the other hand, is
coming off an excruciating loss at North Carolina and is dealing with
injuries and disappointing performances in its receiving corps and its
Having fallen below .500
for the first time since the season-opening loss to Wake Forest, the 2-3
Pirates must shake off any Chapel Hill after-effects and get down to
business or their season could spiral out of control.
Berry's attempt to pull
out a victory over his old boss, Steve Logan, will be an uphill struggle if
the Pirates suddenly solve their pass-catching and pass-defending problems.
ECU has won all four games
in the series and scored at least 30 points in each of the previous
With Leonard Henry ranked
No. 9 in the nation in rushing and David Garrard directing an offensive
attack ranked 25th in scoring and 30th in total yards, ECU has the potential
to make this game a springboard towards a full-throttle C-USA title run.
C-USA Power Rankings 
Louisville…. Cards are 5-1, and the
closest thing the league has to a Top 25 member….
Cincinnati…. Don’t think the Bearcats
are second best in the league, but they are 2-0....
TCU…. Horned Frogs should have easy
time of things this week at Tulane….
Memphis… Great win over Southern Miss.
keeps the Tigers in the chase….
East Carolina…. The Pirates still have
a chance to make this a memorable season....
Southern Miss…. Will still have
plenty to say about the conference championship.…
UAB…. Offense keeps the Blazers in the
lower half of the standings....
Army…. Black Knights picked up huge
win over Houston. Rooting hard for Army after this weekend....
Tulane…. Ranked ahead of Houston
because of win over Southern....
Houston… 0-4, but still probably
better then the Green Wave....
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02/23/2007 01:19:39 AM