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Conference USA Preseason Media Football Poll: 5 Things That Matter

Dec 5, 2015; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens (9) carries the ball away from Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive back Wonderful Terry (5) during the first half of the Conference USA football championship game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 5, 2015; Bowling Green, KY, USA; Southern Miss Golden Eagles quarterback Nick Mullens (9) carries the ball away from Western Kentucky Hilltoppers defensive back Wonderful Terry (5) during the first half of the Conference USA football championship game at Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joshua Lindsey-USA TODAY Sports


Conference USA announces its preseason media poll. What are the five things that matter about the predicted standings?


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– WKU beat Southern Miss 45-28 for the Conference USA championship last season. This year, the media things the Golden Eagles will be back coming from the West Division – even with USM’s new coaching staff – but WKU is picked to finish behind Middle Tennessee in the East.

– The Blue Raiders have three winning seasons in the last four and should have the league’s most explosive attack. QB Brent Stockstill cranked out over 4,000 passing yards and has plenty of weapons returning. The media also liked USM and its big-time attack led by Conference USA Player of the Year QB Nick Mullens.

– WKU and Louisiana Tech replace their starting quarterbacks and each are working in rebuilding mode. Marshall has a good enough team to win the East, but it’s picked third behind Middle Tennessee and WKU. The West looks far easier with Rice and UTEP picked 3 and 4, respectively, behind USM and Louisiana Tech.

– How did the media do last year? There wasn’t a problem with the East – picking WKU to win it – but the West was a miss picking Southern Miss fourth behind Louisiana Tech, Rice and UTEP. This year …

2016 Conference USA Media Predicted Order of Finish

EAST DIVISION
1. Middle Tennessee
2. WKU
3. Marshall
4. Florida Atlantic
5. FIU
6. Old Dominion
7. Charlotte

WEST DIVISION
1. Southern Miss
2. Louisiana Tech
3. Rice
4. UTEP
5. UTSA
6. North Texas