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The teams in Conference USA West Division have all wrapped up spring drills and their spring games in the last few weeks. I am a big advocate of not over reacting to the outcome of spring games, but one can at least get a sense of where teams might be headed in the fall from what takes place. One can also get an idea of who the key players will be for each team in the conference. We have talked a ton about UNT over the last few weeks. Andrew McNulty is in position to hold on to the starting quarterback job heading into the Mean Green’s opener at SMU. There is a chance that JUCO transfer DaMarcus Smith could become academically eligible, beat McNulty out in the span of just a few practices in the fall and convince coach Dan McCarney/offensive coordinator Mike Canales to start him even though he really hasn’t had a lot of time to prove himself. Read more; http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2015/05/spring-games-around-c-usas-west-division.html/
UNT was a narrow pick to win Conference USA’s West Division in the league’s preseason coaches’ poll that was released this morning. UNT received 66 points in the poll, just edging out Rice and UTSA, which received 65 and 62 points, respectively. The Mean Green had two players named to the preseason all-conference team in senior guards Cyril Lemon and Mason Y’Barbo. The honors come after a breakout season that saw the Mean Green finish 9-4 and beat UNLV in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Read more: http://meangreenblog.dentonrc.com/2014/07/unt-picked-to-win-the-c-usa-west-in-preseason-coaches-poll.html/
After finishing 2012 on a five-game winning streak, Rice should be Tulsa’s top challenger in the West. The Owls return 18 starters and won’t play Marshall or East Carolina during the regular season. Louisiana Tech and UTEP are neck-and-neck for the No. 3 and No. 4 spots. The Bulldogs suffered a plethora of personnel losses, but welcome Texas Tech transfer Scotty Young at quarterback. The Miners also have a transfer at quarterback – Jameill Showers from Texas A&M - but return only three starters on defense. Both teams have a new coaching staff, with UTEP under the direction of former player Sean Kugler, and Louisiana Tech led by former USF and Connecticut coach Skip Holtz. Tulane, North Texas and UTSA round out the West Division predictions. The Green Wave should show some signs of improvement in 2013, and the schedule is favorable enough to expect a run at bowl eligibility. North Texas is also making progress under third-year coach Dan McCarney, but expecting a huge jump in win total is unlikely for 2013. The Roadrunners went 8-4 in their first season on the FBS level last season. However, the schedule is very challenging, and coach Larry Coker needs another year or two to build depth in the program. Read more: http://www.athlonsports.com/college-football/conference-usa-football-2013-predictions