Jan 19, 2014; Hattiesburg, MS, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles head coach Donnie Tyndall celebrates with fans after defeating the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 80-71 at Reed Green Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Conference USA Power Rankings: Southern Miss to the top after win over LA Tech

Donnie Tyndall (left), Neil Watson and Southern Miss top this week’s C-USA power rankings. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

While Old Dominion is Conference USA’s lone undefeated (3-0), Southern Miss and Louisiana Tech look like the teams to beat at this point in time. The Golden Eagles have taken our top spot after a 80-71 victory over the Bulldogs in Hattiesburg.

1. Southern Miss (3-1)
Previously: #4 (+3)
Last week: W Rice (84-62); W LA Tech (80-71)
This week: @ Old Dominion, @ ECU
While the Golden Eagles average 74 points a game, they put up 80+ in back-to-back games against Rice and LA Tech.

2. LA Tech (3-1)
Previously: #1 (-1)
Last week: W Tulane (73-45); L LA Tech (80-71)
This week: vs. Charlotte, vs. Marshall
We can’t penalize the Bulldogs too badly after losing to Southern Miss on the road.

3. Charlotte (3-1)
Previously: #5 (+2)
Last week: W Tulsa (90-86 OT); W North Texas (76-74)
This week: @ LA Tech, @ Rice
The Niners move up a couple spots after a pair of come behind wins at home against Tulsa and North Texas. They can’t afford less than a full effort on the road against LA Tech.

4. UTEP (3-1)
Previously: #7 (+3)
Last week: W Middle Tennessee (63-54); W UAB (63-51)
This week: vs. UTSA, vs. LA Tech
A team that by all accounts was supposed to be fading, the Miners should keep rolling against UTSA. Beat LA Tech, and they’ll truly be in the conversation.

5. Middle Tennessee (2-1)
Previously: #2 (-3)
Last week: L UTEP (63-54), W UTSA (80-58)
This week: @ Tulsa, @ North Texas
UTEP should have been a game the Blue Raiders won. But they got right back to business with a blowout win over the Roadrunners.

6. UAB (1-2)
Previously: #3 (-3)
Last week: W UTSA (78-65), L UTEP (63-61)
The Blazers take a hit after falling to a Miners team that probably should have been a win at home.

7. Tulsa (3-1)
Previously: #6 (-1)
Last week: L Charlotte (90-86 OT), W Marshall (69-52)
This week: vs. Middle Tennessee, vs. UAB
Last week: The Golden Hurricane bounced back from a tough loss at Charlotte to drop Marshall.

8. Old Dominion (3-0)
Previously: #8 (no change)
Last week: W FIU (52-36); W FAU (65-60)
Southern Miss on Thursday will be the first true C-USA test for the Monarchs, who are the only unbeaten team in the league thus far.

9. FIU (2-2)
Previously: #11 (-2)
Last week: L Old Dominion (52-36); W ECU (68-64)
This week: FAU
A short week against their in-state rivals gives the Panthers a chance to add to their win total.

10. North Texas (1-3)
Previously: #12 (+2)
Last week: W Marshall (80-65), L Charlotte (76-74)
This week: vs. UAB, vs. Middle Tennessee
The Mean Green came so close to taking a 2-2 league record back to Denton.

11. Tulane (2-2)
Previously: #10 (-1)
Last week: L LA Tech (73-45), W Rice (58-41)
This week: @ ECU, @ Old Dominion
How did the Green Wave only put up 58 points against lowly Rice?

12. Florida Atlantic (2-2)
Previously: #13 (+1)
Last week: W ECU (78-67), L Old Dominion (65-60)
This week: vs. Harvard (non-conference), @ FIU
The Old Dominion loss doesn’t look as bad now with the Monarchs at 3-0 in league play.

13. ECU (0-3)
Previously: #9 (-4)
Last week: L FAU (78-67), L FIU (68-64)
This week: vs. Tulane, vs. Southern Miss
The Pirates have lost five of their last six and are yet to win one in C-USA.

14. UTSA (2-2)
Previously: #13 (-1)
Last week: L UAB (78-65), L Middle Tennessee (80-58)
This week: @ UTEP
The Roadrunners can move up in our rankings if they can defeat the Miners at the Don.

15. Marshall (0-4)
Previously: #15 (no change)
Last week: L North Texas (80-65), L Tulsa (69-52)
This week: @ Rice, @ LA Tech
The good news for the Herd? They have Rice up next, which may be worse than them. The bad news? LA Tech is two nights later.

16. Rice (0-4)
Previously: #16 (no change)
Last week: L Southern Miss (84-62), L Tulane (58-41)
This week: vs. Marshall, vs. Charlotte
The Owls have averaged just 57.7 points a game in league contests.

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