Conference USA has strong showing in bowl games

Jorge Corrales/Sports Director

The Panthers did not go “bowling” this year, but that did not stop their conference mates from putting on a show. Of the twelve teams in Conference USA, five were selected to represent the conference in post-season bowl games. Marshall, Rice, Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech and UTEP combined for a 4-1 record in their bowl games. This included: two wins against the MAC, a win against the Big Ten and a split against the Mountain West. The only slip came in a 21-6 UTEP loss to Utah State.

The biggest win for the conference was Marshall’s domination of MAC champion Northern Illinois. The Conference USA champs thrashed the Huskies by a score of 52-23. For much of the regular season, Marshall was regarded as one of the top 25 teams in the nation. The Thundering Herd started the year 11-0, their first and only loss coming in a 67-66 overtime shootout against Western Kentucky. Marshall defeated FIU 45-13 at Ocean Bank Field on October 13.

Although Conference USA is not listed as one of the “power five” conferences, C-USA teams have fared well recently. Over the last four years, C-USA is 15-6 in bowl games. In this day in age, conference strength is a huge factor in determining strength of schedule. C-USA’s exceptional post-season performance gives hope for the rise of the conference.

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