Conference USA as a whole is struggling, but UAB has stepped up as the unquestioned powerhouse early in the the league.
1. UAB (15-3, 5-0): The Blazers are on a 12-game winning streak after picking up road wins at ODU and Charlotte last week. It’s hard to see the Blazers losing more than a couple of league games this season.
2. MTSU (12-5, 4-1): The Blue Raiders don’t really have a bad loss yet and should pick up easy wins at home over North Texas and Rice this week. Giddy Potts (great name) is hitting 49.3 percent of his 3-pointers this season.
3. La. Tech (13-5, 2-3): The losses at FIU and FAU were baffling last week, but every season has its rough patches. The Bulldogs have to show up Saturday against a Southern Miss team that's shown it's capable of an upset.
4. Marshall (9-9, 5-0): The Thundering Herd has rolled against poor competition early on. Coach Dan D'Antoni is proving the critics wrong with nine wins in the last 12 games.
5. FIU (9-9, 3-2): The Panthers make their first appearance in the C-USA Top 5 following a nice win over Louisiana Tech.
— Patrick Magee