The regular season finale between Western Kentucky and Marshall should set up to be the deciding factor in the East and a very intriguing game.
The Thundering Herd will have to travel to Bowling Green, Ky., giving WKU the home field advantage on Nov. 27. WKU still has a potent offense, but Marshall's defense could be the equalizer.
The picture in the West isn't much clearer with Southern Miss looking more like a complete team with four games remaining for the Golden Eagles. USM travels to Louisiana Tech on Nov. 28 in the regular season finale.
Rice can have a major say in the West when it hosts Louisiana Tech at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The top five teams in Conference USA through eight weeks:
1. Western Kentucky (6-2, 4-0): The Hilltoppers are beginning to look a little beatable, but that’s mostly due to injuries to key players. WKU has it easy the next two weeks against ODU and FAU.
2. Marshall (7-1, 4-0): The Herd has allowed only 47 points in four conference games. It’s a contender in the East.
3. La. Tech (5-3, 3-1): Tech bounced back with a solid performance in a 45-16 win over MTSU last week.
4. Southern Miss (5-3, 3-1): The USM offense seems more dynamic by the week. The Eagles have a shot to make a run in the West.
5. Rice (4-3, 2-1): The Owls struggled to take down Army, 38-31. Saturday, but a win is a win.