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Coach Bill Lewis

2018 C-USA Preseason Power Rankings

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Here's the Underdog Dynasty's CUSA write up on Bill Connelly's S&P+ Rankings...

https://www.underdogdynasty.com/2018/2/11/16993086/lets-examine-the-2018-s-p-projections-for-conference-usa-fau-lane-kiffin-north-texas-la-tech-uab

Their headlines:

  • FAU is the clear favorite
  • C-USA West is up for grabs
  • This conference still has a long ways to go

I think we should all be prepared to read many preseason articles pronouncing our Mean Green as poised for a step back in 2018 after having many things fall perfectly in to place in 2017.

What I know is that I saw a 2017 squad that made its own luck and I'm confident the staff and players have set a culture that is driven to "accomplish the mission" and will avoid any sense of arrival.  From that perspective, the final two games of last year may be a useful motivator for the upcoming campaign

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16 hours ago, jdennis82 said:

 

I think we should all be prepared to read many preseason articles pronouncing our Mean Green as poised for a step back in 2018 after having many things fall perfectly in to place in 2017.

 

this x 1 million. However, the die hard homers here will say thats not the case. I agree with you. 

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We were automatically dismissed as being in the high 120s for several years there regardless of what we were doing, so putting us in the top 100, even with predictions of a step back, is a good thing. Progress! 

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5 minutes ago, Prettylittleeagle said:

this x 1 million. However, the die hard homers here will say thats not the case. I agree with you. 

Agreed. It's too easy not to see the pendulum swinging our way every time. I like to say it's the character and culture change, etc. but I know better. Sometimes breaks just go your way and sometimes they do not. If we have 5 more 1 possession wins this season, then I'll be convinced. 

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NT getting blasted in the conference championship and bowl game is the reason NT is not ranked higher.   NT actually has lot coming back and could be substantially better.  

Wilson will be a major loss, as demonstrated at the end of last year.  The rest of the offense should be better with another years experience.  

Encouraging to some degree is even with a suspect defense, NT won 9 games last year.  I can't see the defense getting weaker and even a slight improvement could make a very positive difference.  

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Usually, when a team wins a lot of close games in one season, the next year is sort of a return to the mean. Look at the Cowboys and Rangers from 2016, when both won close games over and over, but then 2017 saw them lose those games.

I think 7-5 makes a lot of sense. I see us beating SMU, IW, Liberty, Rice, UTEP, USM, and either LT at home or at ODU.

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3 minutes ago, untjim1995 said:

Usually, when a team wins a lot of close games in one season, the next year is sort of a return to the mean. Look at the Cowboys and Rangers from 2016, when both won close games over and over, but then 2017 saw them lose those games.

I think 7-5 makes a lot of sense. I see us beating SMU, IW, Liberty, Rice, UTEP, USM, and either LT at home or at ODU.

ODU is not a toss up game. I think we win that game handily. I think UTSA is better appropriated in the toss up column rather than in your automatic loss column. 

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6 minutes ago, Ben Gooding said:

ODU is not a toss up game. I think we win that game handily. I think UTSA is better appropriated in the toss up column rather than in your automatic loss column. 

UTSA has got a lot of turnover happening. I'd feel more comfortable saying we should win @ UTSA. and I'll give ODU some credit that they'll put up a good fight with their QB in his second year.

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As a matter of fact, I think there is a chance if we have the slightest of improvement on defense and the good fortune of health that FAU and UNT COULD (COULD) meet up on November 17th as undefeated teams facing off for CUSA supremacy. I like our chances at Ark and I like FAU's chances at OU. We'll both be dogs, but I still like both teams chances. I also like our home and away matchups. FAU has a more difficult CUSA draw than we do so I actually think our odds are higher than theirs even though they're the better team. However, if the D shows no improvement than this is a moot point. 

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With the way we won games last year, i could easily see us improving on the field but take a step back in record.  We were probably the worse 9 win team in the country last year, so i believe a 7-8 win year is realistic.

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4 minutes ago, GreenN'walinsVet said:

With the way we won games last year, i could easily see us improving on the field but take a step back in record.  We were probably the worse 9 win team in the country last year, so i believe a 7-8 win year is realistic.

This.

UAB, UTSA, LT, ODU, and Army were all games we won with some clutch plays at the end. We won games against Lamar, UTEP, Rice,  and USM comfortably.

As I look at the upcoming season, SMU better be a win. We get them here, they lost their coach, and they are losing Sutton. If we can't beat them this year, it ain't happening anytime soon. And it probably means FAU is still going to truck us again if they have anything close to what they had last year--and I think they will be even better in 2018 than they were this year.

UAB has a ton coming back and probably the best coach in the league. I see them winning CUSA West. UTSA will treat us as their Super Bowl, as normal, so winning there will always be tough to do. We have beaten them twice in miraculous fashion at home, in part because they just get up for us big time. Its so weird to be somebody's Super Bowl--never imagined I'd see the day when anybody would care so much about beating us that it can literally make or break their season, but look at UTSA and how they handle beating us or losing to us. Unbelievable...

I'll believe we beat a P5 power on the road when I see it actually happen, even if Arky is way down from where they have been. Home cooking, more talent, and a strong OL will help the Hogs a lot against our defense.

Louisiana Tech is the true wildcard. They have a solid G5 coach in Skip Holtz, always recruit well, and usually surprise when they have a good QB. They are a team I can see winning the division or finishing in the middle of the pack. They are always packed with talent...

But the rest of the schedule is pretty soft. Incarnate Word is just embarrassing to even play, but we got RV'd here. Liberty, UTEP, and Rice are just terrible FBS programs right now. ODU is still building, but we do have to play them on the road, which is never easy.Add in wins over SMU and USM at home and I think 7 wins come from here, with a win at home against LT giving us 8 wins. 

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50 minutes ago, Aldo said:

UTSA has got a lot of turnover happening. I'd feel more comfortable saying we should win @ UTSA. and I'll give ODU some credit that they'll put up a good fight with their QB in his second year.

No Lawry though.  I think losing him will hurt ODU worse than losing Wilson hurts us.

Aw Heck, I'm jumping in @Ben Gooding's boat on this one.  Anything less than 8 wins is a disappointment.  

Keep those expectations high folks!   

I know we're a battered fan base, but the Mean Green really does love us.  They're gonna change this time!

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Pretty sure #88 would be the worst preseason ranking for a team to win the national championship. Looking forward to it.

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13 hours ago, Matt from A700 said:

Pretty sure #88 would be the worst preseason ranking for a team to win the national championship. Looking forward to it.

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20 hours ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

No Lawry though.  I think losing him will hurt ODU worse than losing Wilson hurts us.

Jeremy Cox is no slouch (if healthy). I mean I don't see us as the underdog in this one, but as a road game I'm less concerned about UTSA.

Fewer than 8 wins is a step back.

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Honestly, a 7-5 record and a Bowl win would be a step up, IMO. I’d consider it a successful year. 

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2 hours ago, Got5onIt said:

Honestly, a 7-5 record and a Bowl win would be a step up, IMO. I’d consider it a successful year. 

7 wins is not going to get the West division crown again.    Definitely a step down, IMO.

Raise them standards!

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2 hours ago, MeanGreenTexan said:

7 wins is not going to get the West division crown again.    Definitely a step down, IMO.

Raise them standards!

What is more important the crown or a bowl win? I think a bowl win even with a 7-5 record  would be more positive! GMG 

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2 minutes ago, Wag Tag said:

What is more important the crown or a bowl win? I think a bowl win even with a 7-5 record  would be more positive! GMG 

Who says it has to be either/or?

There should be NO SHAME in losing to Troy... but they're in the SunBelt, so the perception is awful.

I believe 2018 has C-USA back in the HoD Bowl.    If the Indy Bowl wanted to rake us over the coals, surely the HoD Bowl wont...  just need to win the West Division, or we won't get that shot at a B1G team, and likely will play our bowl game in NO again, or NM.    I'd rather play (and lose... or not?) to a B1G team in a bowl game than go to NM Bowl and win against a middle-of-the-pack MWC team, or worse, go back to the NO Bowl and have to play an extremely underrated Troy/AppSt/ARSt again.

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