Western Kentucky continues to be the prohibitive favorite to win Conference USA, but Marshall can't be ignored.
The Thundering Herd is improving with each week and freshman Chase Litton appears to have settled in nicely at quarterback. If the defense keeps up its stellar play, Western Kentucky will have its hands full in the season finale in Bowling Green.
The top five teams in Conference USA through seven weeks:
1. Western Kentucky (6-1, 4-0): The Hilltoppers lost star running back Leon Allen to injury early in the season and now tight end Tyler Higbee is dealing with a knee sprain. As long as QB Brandon Doughty stays healthy, nothing is stopping the Hilltoppers. WKU lost out on a shot at a major bowl bid in the 38-35 loss at Indiana, but it has a chance to prove itself at No. 5 LSU Saturday.
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2. Marshall (6-1, 3-0): The Herd has made a steady climb in recent weeks thanks to a stout defense. Marshall should be 10-1 when it travels to WKU in the season finale.
3. La. Tech (4-3, 2-1): Tech was up 14-0 on Mississippi State in the first quarter Saturday before losing 45-20.
4. Southern Miss (4-3, 2-1): If the USM defense continues to improve, it will be a threat to La. Tech in the West.
5. Rice (3-3, 2-1): The Owls will look to close the second half strong, starting with Army on Saturday.