Conference USA Roundup

With UCF's non-conference schedule over, the Knights will turn to their main goal of the 2008 season; repeating as C-USA champions. While UCF was idle this weekend, C-USA play was in full swing.

Off to a 2-4 start, the Knights haven't met the expectations that many set for them in the preseason, but UCF still controls its own destiny in the C-USA. The Knights are 1-1 in the conference and the final six games they play this season will be inside the conference.

UCF has played less conference games than any other C-USA team, losing to UTEP then beating SMU. While UCF was reloading during a bye-week, C-USA play was heating up.

Tulsa headlined the conference games this weekend, defeating an improving UTEP team (3-4, 3-1 in the C-USA) 77-35. With the lopsided victory, the Golden Hurricanes move to 7-0 on the season, four of those wins coming in the conference. Tulsa will be UCF's opponent this Sunday and the Knights will face its second ranked opponent of the season, as Tulsa is ranked 22nd in the nation in the AP poll and 19th in the latest BCS rankings.

In the East Division, UCF sits behind ECU and Marshall, both of whom are 2-1 in conference play. The Pirates (4-3 overall) hosted the Memphis Tigers (3-5, 1-3) and cruised to a 30-10 victory. The Thundering Herd on the other hand has faltered as of late, losing to UAB (2-6, 1-3), 23-21. Marshall (3-4, 2-1) got off to a hot start but has lost its past three games.

Southern Miss (2-5, 0-3) is in dead last in the East after losing a 45-40 heartbreaker to Rice (4-3, 1-3). The only other conference game was between two West opponents, as Houston (4-3, 3-0) downed SMU (1-7, 0-5), 44-38.

The story of conference play so far this season has been the West's dominance. The West has four teams with 3-1 or better records and three with records of .500 or better. The East however, has just one team that sits over .500 and just two teams with winning records inside the conference.

UCF will take on Tulsa this weekend, a matchup that has come to be a big rivalry. The two teams have met twice in the past three years in the conference championship game, with the Knights actually winning two games against the Golden Hurricanes last year.

After the Tulsa game, UCF will exclusively play teams in the East and the Knights will control their own destiny. Even if UCF falls to Tulsa this week, they can find a spot in the C-USA championship game if they win the rest of their games. There is some discrepancy amongst the divisions inside the conference, which bodes well for UCF, as the division is up for grabs.


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