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Tulsa, Central Florida Continue Surge to C-USA Championship

The race for the Conference USA title became a lot clearer this past weekend as the field was whittled down to just four sides.

Losses for both Houston and Marshall extinguished the pairs’ already slim chances of advancing to the C-USA Championship Game on December 1, leaving just Central Florida and East Carolina alive in the East Division, and Tulsa and Southern Methodist fighting for the West Division.

Divison Toppers Collide in Tulsa

Latavius Murray and the UCF Knights will be looking to wrap up the East Division this weekend.

Having knocked off UTEP over the weekend, Central Florida (8-2, 6-0 C-USA) is now firmly in the driving seat in the East Division.

The Knights are one game ahead of East Carolina, and crucially hold the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Pirates by virtue of a 40-20 victory back in Week 6.

This weekend, UCF travels to Tulsa, Okla., to take on the Golden Hurricane.

It’s possible for Central Florida to clinch the C-USA East title this weekend. A win over Tulsa coupled with East Carolina losing to Tulane would ensure the Knights both the division title and a spot in the Championship Game.

But Tulsa (8-2, 6-0 C-USA) has title aspirations of its own, and has the chance to clinch the C-USA West title this weekend. Were the Golden Hurricane to defeat UCF and the SMU Mustangs were to lose at Rice, the division would be awarded to Tulsa.

Tulsa is coming off of a 41-7 win over Houston and has home field advantage, which could make all the difference in this contest between the division toppers. Oddsmakers appear to agree, setting the spread at 2½-points in favor of Tulsa. The over/under is 58.

Pirates, Mustangs Look To Stay Relevant

A win this weekend keeps Shane Carden and the East Carolina Pirates in the race for the East.

Whilst UCF and Tulsa are currently poised to take their respective divisions, East Carolina and Southern Methodist still have a say in how the final standings will pan out.

East Carolina (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) travels to Tulane (2-8, 2-4 C-USA) this weekend, having enjoyed an off-week. A win for the Pirates over the lowly Green Wave will not be enough to ensure that the race for the East Division goes down to the last week of the season. Ruffin McNeill’s side needs Tulsa to knock off the Knights also. If that happens, it’ll be Marshall and UAB that could ultimately decide where the title ends up.

Meanwhile in the West Division, Southern Methodist (5-5, 4-2 C-USA) is in a similar predicament as East Carolina, but with one big difference; neither SMU nor Tulsa has the tiebreaker advantage.

So long as SMU is victorious this weekend at Rice (4-6, 2-4 C-USA), the C-USA West title will be decided on the final day of the season, as Tulsa travels to SMU.

The Mustangs have opened as four-point favorites over the Owls, suggesting that bookmakers are confident this race will go down to the last game of the season. The over/under is 58.

Around the Conference

Any slim hopes of a division title Houston (4-6, 3-3 C-USA) was harboring came to an end last week as Tulsa definitively set aside the Cougars in a 41-7 drubbing. This weekend the team travels to Marshall (4-6, 3-3 C-USA), who has an identical record, and like the Cougars, was mathematically eliminated from the title hunt this week, losing 38-31 to UAB. Both teams will be looking to finish the season at the .500 which requires winning out, so there’s a little something to play for. The Herd is a narrow favorite (-1) with the over/under at 75.

UAB (3-7, 2-4 C-USA) defeated Marshall 38-31 this past weekend, effectively ending the Herds’ chances of a division title. This week the Blazers will look to make it three wins in a row as they host the Memphis Tigers (2-8, 2-4 C-USA), another of the conference’s weaker sides. Memphis will be looking to win its final two games, and head to the Big East next season on a high of sorts. UAB opens as favorites (-11½) with the over/under at 62.

Finally, having fallen to SMU last weekend, Southern Mississippi (0-10, 0-6 C-USA) will once again be looking for its first win of the season in all competition. With just one conference win to its name, UTEP (2-8, 1-5 C-USA) might be the unlucky side that loses to the Golden Eagles, which would mark a third straight loss. Bookmakers think not though. The Miners are three-point favorites at opening, with the over/under at 52.


Week 11 Results (in full)

Marshall 31-38 UAB

Tulsa 41-7 Houston

Tulane 23-37 Memphis

Southern Miss 6-34 Southern Methodist

UCF 31-24 UTEP


Week 12 Schedule (in full)

UCF (8-2, 6-0 C-USA) at Tulsa (8-2, 6-0 C-USA)

Houston (4-6, 3-3 C-USA) at Marshall (4-6, 3-3 C-USA)

Memphis (2-8, 2-4 C-USA) at UAB (3-7, 2-4 C-USA)

Southern Methodist (5-5, 4-2 C-USA) at Rice (4-6, 2-4 C-USA)

East Carolina (6-4, 5-1 C-USA) at Tulane (2-8, 2-4 C-USA)

UTEP (2-8, 1-5 C-USA) at Southern Miss (0-10, 0-6 C-USA)

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