Southern Miss

C-USA Bowl Projections: WKU to Miami, Southern Miss to New Orleans

Four weeks into the season, we have a better idea of which Conference USA teams have a shot to go bowling.

Through the rest of the regular season, I'll provide weekly projections of which teams appear on track to land in the conference's six bowl tie-ins.

Here you have it, C-USA bowl projections for week five:

Gildan New Mexico Bowl – Rice vs. Colorado State – 1 p.m., Dec. 19 (ESPN)

The Owls (2-2, 1-0) took it on the chin at Baylor, 70-17, on Saturday. They may have a tough time challenging Louisiana Tech in the C-USA West, but the Owls should easily reach bowl eligibility.

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl – Southern Miss vs. Louisiana-Lafayette – 8 p.m., Dec. 19 (ESPN)

This matchup should bring a nice crowd to the Superdome with USM fans desperate to see their team play in the postseason for the first time since 2011. They might as well call this game the Cajun Bowl with ULL taking part in the game the last four years. If the Ragin' Cajuns fall off, South Alabama might get a crack at this game.

Miami Beach Bowl – Western Kentucky vs. Houston –  1:30 p.m., Dec. 21 (ESPN)

Western Kentucky (3-1, 1-0) appears to be the team most likely to win a C-USA title with its strong early play. A chance to play in Miami against a good AAC team would be the best postseason opportunity for the Hilltoppers.

Popeyes Bahamas Bowl – Middle Tennessee vs. Ohio – 11 a.m., Dec. 24 (ESPN)

The Raiders (2-2, 1-0) have played pretty well lately. There's no great bowl option that would attract a large following of MTSU fans so the Bahamas it is.

St. Petersburg Bowl - Marshall vs. East Carolina -  10 a.m., Dec. 26th 

It's difficult to see the Thundering Herd (3-1) catching to WKU in the East. A trip to St. Petersburg against an old C-USA rival would be a nice consolation price.

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl - Louisiana Tech vs. Boston College - 1:20 p.m., Dec. 26 

Louisiana Tech fans traveled well to Dallas last year and there's a good chance this will again be their destination. This is supposed to be a matchup with a Big 12 program, but I doubt that we'll see a Big 12 team at the Cotton Bowl stadium this year. Kansas State should be the most likely opponent for this game, but the Bulldogs (2-2, 0-1) and Wildcats have already played this season with KSU winning in overtime. I expect a random opponent along the lines of Boston College in Dallas.