The first weekend of Conference USA play ended with a few teams (like Louisiana Tech_ coming out well, while others suffered head-scratching losses. (Look no further than the hometown team). Who’s rising and falling in the league after Week 1?
LA Tech: Granted, the Bulldogs should have beaten Florida Atlantic and FIU this past weekend, which they did. But that overtime win over the Oklahoma Sooners is looking better after the Sooners find themselves in the Top 25 for the first time in over four years. Tech would turn around and take care of business as expected against the Florida teams.
UTSA: Did anyone expect the Roadrunners to be 2-0 after the first weekend of conference play? They topped the Charlotte 49ers on Saturday days after knocking off Marshall. (By the way, they were 10-22 last season.) We’ll see if Brooks Thompson and his team can continue to shock the league or if this past weekend was an aberration.
Tulsa: The Golden Hurricane have lost to some talented teams this year (Wichita State, Creighton, Green Bay, Oklahoma), so their 5-9 record entering C-USA play was a little deceiving. But the conference slate opened with a pair of wins over Tulane and high-flying Southern Miss.
Charlotte: We’ve mentioned this all weekend, so no need to do so again.
Rice: It’s been a free fall for a team that has lost its last five. Granted, FIU has enjoyed a OK season, but FAU, still in the dregs of the basketball world, should have been a win too. It doesn’t get easier with a road trip to Southern Miss and Tulane around the corner.
Marshall: This team is nothing without troubled but talented Elijah Pittman. Since his suspension, the Herd are 2-6, with their only wins coming against NAIA team Alice Lloyd College (bonus points if you know where it is–answer below) and Presbyterian.
Southern Miss: We know that the Golden Eagles are better that they showed this weekend, even after a loss to Tulane. A win over both Rice and LA Tech this week should get them right back on track.
UTEP: Despite three players, including their leading scorer, kicked off the team due to betting on sports, the Miners gave Charlotte a tough battle before losing, but bounced back with a victory over Marshall.
FIU: The Panthers’ weekend went as expected: they beat a Rice team that they should have beaten and were blown out by LA Tech in a game they weren’t supposed to win. Too early to tell how this season will go for them.
*By the way, Alice Lloyd College is in the booming metropolis of Pippa Passes, Kentucky–two and a half hours away from Lexington and about two hours and forty-five minutes from Charleston, WV (The city’s mayor, Scott Cornett, is also Alice Lloyd College’s baseball coach).