Conference USA Team Season Grades: West
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
Louisiana Tech Season Grade: A-
Suspensions. QB J’Mar Smith and a few key players were held out for a few games late in the season, and that turned out to be a killer with road losses to Marshall and UAB. Everything else was fabulous – at least after a loss to Texas to kick things off – rolling through the rest of the C-USA season, and stunning Miami in a shutout win in the Independence Bowl.
North Texas Season Grade: D
What was that? Where was the dominant offense that defined the first few years of the Seth Littrell era? At the very least, the Mean Green should’ve gone bowling – losses to Rice and Charlotte stung – but they had to be in the hunt for the Conference USA title, and weren’t even close.
Rice Season Grade: C-
The grade is on a curve. This was supposed to be a nothing year, but the team was far more competitive – it pushed Baylor, Army and Louisiana Tech – but had nothing to show for it in an 0-9 start. Winning the last three games – two of them on the road, provided just the momentum needed. However, it was only a one-win improvement from 2018.
Southern Miss Season Grade: B-
It’s a stretch to call USM a big disappointment, but it should’ve been deeper in the mix for the Conference USA title considering the talent returning. The losses? At Mississippi State, at Alabama, at Louisiana Tech, WKU and at Florida Atlantic. All forgivable, and the blowout loss to Tulane in the Armed Forces Bowl came after injuries hit the backfield.
UAB Season Grade: A-
You play who’s on your schedule. UAB might have gone bum-slaying – there was NOTHING on the resumé, considering it got a Louisiana Tech team hit with suspensions – but it made it to the Conference USA title. It was blown out, and lost to Appalachian State in the New Orleans Bowl, but this season showed the potential to sustain the success.
UTEP Season Grade: D
There weren’t any expectations, but it was still somehow a disappointing run. This program just can’t make any positive headway. The one win came by two points over Houston Baptist to start the season, and that was about it. Only one of the 11 losses the rest of the way was by fewer than nine points.
UTSA Season Grade: C-
The Roadrunners did exactly what they were supposed to. They beat the four totally miserable teams on the slate – Incarnate Word, UTEP, Rice an Old Dominion – and couldn’t hang with the decent ones. In comes Arkansas assistant Jeff Traylor to give it a go in 2020 with a ten that didn’t come closer than 14 points in any of the eight losses.