Conference USA Team Season Grades: East
2019 Team Season Grades
ACC Atlantic | Coastal
AAC East | West | Big Ten East | West
Big 12 | C-USA East | West
Independents | MAC East | West
MW Mountain | West | Pac-12 North | South
SEC East | West | Sun Belt East | West
Conference USA Season Grade: C-
The top teams got to look great by feasting off the miserable teams down below. Florida Atlantic was marvelous, and WKU had a wonderful year, but it helps when you have Old Dominion, UTEP, UTSA, Rice, and bad seasons from Middle Tennessee and Southern Miss to take advantage of. On the plus side, FAU and Louisiana Tech had huge performances in their respective bowl games, and Charlotte got to go bowling.
Charlotte Season Grade: A-
The 49ers went bowling. They got rolled by Buffalo in the Bahamas, but they won five straight after a 2-5 start to come up with the first post-season game in the program’s history. There might not have been a whole slew of great wins outside of a great game against Marshall, but again … Charlotte went to a bowl game.
FIU Season Grade: C+
It wasn’t the season it was supposed to be considering the talent level returning. The Golden Panthers lost three of their last four games, but the one win was against Miami. Losing to Arkansas State in the Camellia Bowl wasn’t okay, and there were a whole slew of mediocre wins, but at least they got to a bowl game. They should’ve been more in the C-USA title chase in late-November, though.
Florida Atlantic Season Grade: A
There’s the Florida Atlantic team we all knew and loved from a few years ago. After an 0-2 start, the Owls went 11-1, rolled to a Conference USA championship, and despite losing Lane Kiffin to Ole Miss, hung 52 on SMU in a Boca Raton Bowl win. There were a whole lot of wins over mediocre teams along the way, but it was an outstanding year.
Marshall Season Grade: B
It was an uneven season that beat the preseason prediction, but it could’ve been a wee bit better. The five-game midseason winning streak have the Herd in the hunt for the C-USA title, but losses to lesser Middle Tennessee and Charlotte teams screwed that up. There’s no dogging a Gasparilla Bowl loss to UCF, but overall it was a strong run.
Middle Tennessee Season Grade: D+
The Blue Raiders took a major step back after fighting for the Conference USA title last year. They managed to beat Marshall and FIU, but they couldn’t get to six wins and bowl eligibility. Losing to North Texas, Charlotte – at least by 14 – and Rice wasn’t okay for what’s normally a player in the conference race.
Old Dominion Season Grade: D-
What was that? There was enough in place to at least beat the bad teams on the slate, but instead the Monarchs couldn’t get by anyone. They beat Norfolk State by three to start the season, and that was it. The D was bad, the O was worse, and now there’s a reset with Penn State offensive coordinator Ricky Rahne taking over the head coaching gig.
WKU Season Grade: A-
Well that was snazzy. WKU was coming off a rough 3-9 season, and it looked like it would be another bad run with a 1-2 start, losing to Central Arkansas to kick things off. But it won eight of its last nine games, won its final four battles, and took out Western Michigan in a thriller in the First Responders Bowl. The only thing missing was a Conference USA title.