Southern Miss

Analyzing USM's chances of winning a football game in 2013

There's a growing debate among members of the media and fans as to whether the Southern Miss football team will win a game this season.

With its 24-23 loss to Florida International Saturday, Southern Miss has lost 17 consecutive games. FIU, a team widely assumed to be the worst in the nation, was supposed to be USM's best shot at a victory.

Let's take a look at the schedule for the rest of the year and weigh USM's chances of getting a win.

* Oct. 19 - at East Carolina (4-1, 2-0)

USM's chances: ECU is likely the best team in Conference USA this season, and the Eagles really don't have a chance on the road. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Oct. 26 - North Texas (2-3, 0-1)

USM's chances: This is USM's homecoming game, but North Texas has played some pretty good football this season. The Mean Green pushed Georgia into the second half, beat a good Ball State team and nearly beat Tulane (4-2) in its homecoming contest last week. The Eagles have an outside shot at this game, but North Texas is simply the better team. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Nov. 2 - at Marshall (3-2, 1-0)

USM's chances: The Thundering Herd thrashed USM, 59-24, in Hattiesburg last season, and it could be every bit as ugly this year. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Nov. 9 - at Louisiana Tech (2-4, 1-1)

USM's chances: This one was supposed to be a game where USM could maybe steal a win on the road, but Louisiana Tech found its offense last week at UTEP in a 38-35 win. The Bulldogs are still shaky, but I expect them to improve as the season goes along. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Nov. 16 - Florida Atlantic (2-4, 1-3)

USM's chances: FIU and FAU were expected to be USM's two easiest home games, but FAU has hung tough with good teams and has wins over South Florida and UAB. FAU has better talent on its roster than USM. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Nov. 23 - Middle Tennessee (3-3, 1-1)

USM's chances: While MTSU isn't quite as good as some expected, the Blue Raiders are still a quality squad. MTSU will probably be a bowl team. PROJECTION: USM loss.

* Nov. 30 - at UAB (1-4, 0-1)

USM's chances: UAB hasn't taken the anticipated step forward under second-year coach Garrick McGee, and is likely the worst team remaining on the USM schedule. The Blazers, however, have beaten USM four straight seasons. UAB has played harder than USM when the two teams have met over the last four years, and that's unlikely to change on a cold November day in Birmingham. PROJECTION: USM loss.

In conclusion: There's the chance that Southern Miss catches an opponent on an off night and finally pulls out a victory. But the ball has not bounced the Golden Eagles' way since 2011, and there is insufficient talent on the roster.

An 0-12 record seems more probable than a 1-11 or 2-10 mark.