Keeping Score

C-USA Top 5: WKU, Southern Miss vie for No. 1

Southern Miss running back George Payne tries to keep out of the grip of Kentucky cornerback Chris Westry Saturday in Lexington, Ky. Southern Miss won the game 44-35.
Southern Miss running back George Payne tries to keep out of the grip of Kentucky cornerback Chris Westry Saturday in Lexington, Ky. Southern Miss won the game 44-35. Associated Press

The first week of the college football season is in the books so it's time to revive C-USA Top 5.

Western Kentucky led last year's rankings from start to finish and the Hilltoppers made a good case to again be at the top following a 46-14 win at Rice on Thursday.

However, Southern Miss earns the top spot this week on the strength of a 44-35 win at Kentucky in the season opener.

Alabama coach Nick Saban said this week that he thinks USM is “nowhere near as good” as WKU. That may prove to be the case eventually, but I'm not buying it at the moment.

To the Top 5:

1. Southern Miss: The Golden Eagles (1-0) played one the worst first halves they've played in a couple of seasons, but still managed to beat Kentucky in Lexington on Saturday. Star quarterback Nick Mullens, who threw three interceptions in the first half, should only get better, and that should be scary for the rest of the conference. USM has a chance for a special season.

2. Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers (1-0) made short work of Rice on Saturday, but I'm thinking the Owls are due another down season. Even if Rice is poor on defense, South Florida transfer Mike White made an impressive debut, competing 25 of 31 passes for 517 yards and three touchdowns.

3. Marshall: The Herd haven't played a game yet this season, but the Herd deserve a spot in the top three coming off a 10-3 season. Marshall should be applauded for playing a much more difficult non-conference schedule this year. The Herd hosts No. 13 Louisville on Sept. 24 and goes to Pittsburgh on Oct. 1.

4. Louisiana Tech: The Bulldogs (0-1) should have won at Arkansas Saturday, instead they lost 21-20 in Fayetteville. La. Tech looks like the second best team in the C-USA West at the moment.

5. UTEP: Sean Kugler's Miners have been the popular pick as a break out team in Conference USA this season. UTEP took care of business in a 38-22 win over New Mexico State in the season opener, but that was a team they should have handled easily.

  Comments