4. Conference USA Surprise, Disappointment
Conference USA Team That Will Surprise
They came on at the end of last season with three wins after an 0-9 start, and they were at least competitive in most of the early defeats with four of them by eight points or fewer.
It’s the third year under Mike Bloomgren after needing time to build up the program, and now he has a quietly strong receiving corps and a defense loaded with veterans. The Owls aren’t going to take the Conference USA title, but they’ll be a whole lot peskier.
2020 Conference USA Previews
East Charlotte | Florida Atlantic | FIU | Marshall
Middle Tennessee | Old Dominion | WKU
West Louisiana Tech | North Texas | Rice
Southern Miss | UAB | UTEP | UTSA
CFN Preview 2020: All 130 Team Previews
Conference USA Team That Will Disappoint
This is more about potential schedule issues than any team concerns. There’s a ton to like about the Hilltoppers coming off a huge 9-4 season with four straight wins and a bowl victory to close things out – they’re good enough to win it all – but at the immediate moment, they’re missing Rice, UTEP and UTSA.
Throw in not having North Texas – who’s coming off a rough season – and with road dates currently set up at Florida Atlantic and UAB, and it’s the roughest slate in the East. Add to the mix – again, at the moment – six Conference USA bowl teams from last year in the last seven games, and they’re not catching any breaks.