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COLUMN: On a wide open 11-team Conference USA


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There's so much to not like about Friday night games in college football.
 
Friday night games cut off college teams from the local football ecosystem at its very root: Friday night high school football, preventing college coaches from scouting future players, of course, but also forcing countless fans to choose between supporting the hometown team, or the neighborhood one, with the latter, as it often should, winning out.
 
There are benefits, to be sure, from a college Friday night game, particularly for schools like Middle Tennessee in Conference USA. Where nearly every game in C-USA this Saturday was on ESPN+, a useful place to find them for the fans, but not so much the casual viewer, thousands more watched the Blue Raiders and the UTSA Roadrunners from home on Friday than would've otherwise.  
 
With that, this Sunday column is a little different. With my Saturday free, I got to actually watch a fair amount of the rest of Conference USA in action this weekend, whether that was live on ESPN+ or through scoreboard watching and switching feeds. With no divisions this year, things are already starting to take shape, and I thought it was worth highlighting some of the more interesting broader trends between teams before the thick of C-USA play starts.
 
Then, I wanted to highlight a couple of under the radar things that have stuck with me from Friday night's game. With that, let's dive in!
 
A Conference USA Whiparound
 
North Texas 45, FAU 24: Anecdotally, just from the FAU folks I follow on twitter, it sounds like the Owls were banged up a fair bit before they traveled to Denton. Even with that, giving up 300 yards on the ground to a program that is a) generally associated with airing it out on offense and b) lost 58-27 to (an admittedly much better than usual) UNLV is rather concerning for the folks in Boca Raton.
 
FAU looked strong to start the year against Charlotte and has been right in games with Ohio and Purdue on the road. But already, at 2-4, it looks like the Owls need to use their upcoming bye week to find their footing and find it quickly.
 
As for North Texas, the Mean Green are very quietly at the top of the C-USA standings, thanks to their Week 1 win over UTEP making them the only team with two wins in conference so far this season. Drawing UTSA and Western Kentucky AND UAB all on the road is a tough slate to pick up enough wins to stay in the top two of the standings, but so far, they've got a bit of momentum heading into a bye of their own.

read more:  https://goblueraiders.com/news/2022/10/2/football-column-on-a-wide-open-11-team-conference-usa-and-three-blue-raider-stars-from-friday

Edited by Jonnyeagle
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I like Sam Doughton, but I thought this was just a big swing-and-miss: 

North Texas 45, FAU 24: Anecdotally, just from the FAU folks I follow on twitter, it sounds like the Owls were banged up a fair bit before they traveled to Denton. Even with that, giving up 300 yards on the ground to a program that is a) generally associated with airing it out on offense and b) lost 58-27 to (an admittedly much better than usual) UNLV is rather concerning for the folks in Boca Raton. 

We have had a good running program for a year and a half, and Littrell has been a big run-game proponent his whole time here. 

 

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