Conference USA

C-USA Bowl Projections: Nine bowl-eligible teams seem likely

Southern Miss defensive lineman Xavier Thigpen (32) tackles UAB quarterback A.J. Erdely during the game at Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg on Oct. 28.
Southern Miss defensive lineman Xavier Thigpen (32) tackles UAB quarterback A.J. Erdely during the game at Roberts Stadium in Hattiesburg on Oct. 28. Special to the Sun Herald

With so many teams in postseason contention, it seems more than likely that at least one bowl-eligible Conference USA team will miss out on a bowl bid.

There are nine C-USA teams that can be projected as reaching bowl eligibility at the moment – FAU, FIU, Marshall, WKU, MTSU, North Texas, UAB, Southern Miss and UTSA.

Louisiana Tech has a chance at 4-5, but the Bulldogs may only be favored in one of their remaining games – UTEP on Nov. 18.

Here are this week's projections for bowl games featuring C-USA tie-ins:

▪  Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 16) — Marshall (6-3) vs. Colorado State (6-4) — Marshall has lost two straight and could potentially stumble out of the bowl picture with three difficult games remaining – WKU, UTSA and Southern Miss.

▪  R&L Carriers New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 16) — UAB (6-3) vs. Arkansas State (5-2) — The Blazers could really make some noise when they go to Florida on Nov. 18.

▪  Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 19) — FIU (6-2) vs. Temple (4-5) — The Panthers seem headed for at least eight wins with Old Dominion and UMass coming to Miami.

▪  Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Dec. 21) — FAU (6-3) vs. South Florida (8-1) — The only team that seems to be standing between FAU and an East Division title is FIU.

▪  Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 22) — Southern Miss (5-4) vs. Northern Illinois (6-3) — Southern Miss can improve its postseason prospects if it closes out strong against Rice, Charlotte and Marshall.

▪  Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 23) — UTSA (5-3) vs. Army (7-2) — The Roadrunners have three difficult games to close out, but the first two are in San Antonio – UAB and Marshall. UTSA travels to La. Tech to close out the regular season on Nov. 25.

▪  Independence Bowl (Dec. 27) — North Texas (6-3) vs. Wake Forest (5-4) — North Texas can sleep walk to the C-USA West title with UTEP and Rice serving as two remaining conference games.

C-USA Bowl Projections

1. FAU (6-3, 5-0)

2. North Texas (6-3, 5-1)

3. UAB (6-3, 4-2)

4. FIU (6-2, 4-1)

5. Marshall (6-3, 3-2)

6. Southern Miss (5-4, 3-2)

7. UTSA (5-3, 2-3)

8. WKU (5-4, 3-2)

9. La. Tech (4-5, 2-3)

10. MTSU (4-5, 2-3)

11. Old Dominion (3-6, 1-4)

12. Charlotte (1-8, 1-4)

13. Rice (1-8, 1-4)

14. UTEP (0-9, 0-5)

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