Sunday, October 23, 2016

Bilo's College Football PASS/FAIL Reports Week 8: Conference USA

PASS: North Texas, Rice, Middle Tennessee, Charlotte, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, Western Kentucky
In what has truly been a very strange season in CUSA football, North Texas is a half game out in the West, but that had no bearing on a 35-18 non con win over Army this week, What it does say os that Seth Littrell has done one hell of a job putting together some pieces at UNT to start winning now, rather than two years from now. This is an amazing story with the Eagles this fall.
Rice gets a rare visit to the PASS column this week after scoring 31 in the 2nd quarter, but really should be failed for giving up 44 to Prairie View this week. It really was a crap game, an uneven performance, but when you are Rice, and it is your first win of the season, a win is a win.
Middle Tennessee got a program defining win this week at Missouri, even though Missouri is down. This was a win at an SEC program, something nobody should snub. The Blue Raiders are a half game back in the East, but remember, they already have that loss to Western Kentucky hanging over them, so they will need some help to take the division title.
Charlotte probably got their biggest win in the history of their young program this weekend by beating Marshall on the road, 27-24. The 49ers are now 2-2 in league play, but are still far away from being in position to win the league title. Still, this win was huge.
Louisiana Tech stomped out an FIU winning streak this week, and after a rough start, now own the lead in the West by a half game. The Bulldogs still have got to beat UNT and Southern Miss, both on the road to pull away.
If UTEP is going to save their season, this weekend's win over UTSA was the place to star the run. The Miners are now 2-5 overall, and need to win 4 of 5 to get bowl eligible, and really, need to go 5-0 to lock in a trip. It looks like long odds, but that is where they are.
Western Kentucky rolled over Old Dominion, and are in the process of fixing a slow start to the season, WKU is tied currently with FIU for the East lead, as FIU lost this week. The final schedule contains games with both FIU, and North Texas, so there are challenges ahead for Brian Brohm and team.

FAIL: Marshall, FIU, UTSA, Old Dominion
I have no real answers for what has gone wrong at Marshall this season. Few programs have fallen so far so fast. The Herd was dumped by Charlotte this week, which may have been one of their worst losses this season. There are just no words to describe this mess.
FIU was on a streak after firing Ron Turner, but the clock ran out against Louisiana Tech this week, much as it was expected to. That said, FIU still controls their own destiny in the East, and has a date in two weeks with co-leader WKU.
UTSA fell hard this week in a 3 point loss to UTEP. It took the Roadrunners out of the discussion in the West, and dropped them to 4th in the process. A bowl is still possible, but this was not a good look this week in the loss.
Old Dominion ran into a buzz saw this week, showing how deep the talent gap is between them and the better programs in the conference at this point. Still, ODU is just a half game out in the East, but one gets the feeling that the wheels are getting a little bit shaky.

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