ECU Victory Makes UCF Title Hopes A Long-shot

ECU's victory over Tulsa last night makes it unlikely that the Knights will get to the C-USA championship game for the second time in three years.

The UCF Knights entered this season with the goal of winning a Conference USA championship. After a rough 0-2 start with losses on the road to Southern Miss and ECU, those championship hopes were watered down severely.

Since, the team has responded by winning four consecutive conference games, highlighted by Saturday's upset victory over then 13th ranked Houston.

"This was so huge because it means we're bowl eligible and our hopes in the conference are still very much alive," Knights quarterback Brett Hodges said following the game.

Although the Knights hopes are alive, they're very much on life support as Sunday night's 44-17 victory by ECU over Tulsa will make it very difficult for UCF to win the C-USA East. ECU now has a 5-1 conference record, and the Knights are part of a three-team logjam at 4-2 as they are tied with Southern Miss and UAB. Since both ECU and Southern Miss hold head-to-head tiebreak advantages over UCF, the Knights need plenty of help.

This is what needs to happen:

Obviously, UCF must win out against Tulane and UAB.

ECU must drop their final two contests against UAB and Southern Miss.

Southern Miss must lose this Saturday at home against Tulsa, then they must beat ECU.

The most difficult of those scenarios will present themselves this Saturday when ECU hosts a UAB squad which has lost three of their last four meetings against the Pirates. Then, struggling Tulsa, losers of five straight must travel east and pull an upset over Southern Miss. If each of those scenarios play out Saturday, then Southern Miss will have to defeat ECU and that combined with a pair of Knights victories will grant UCF another appearance in the C-USA title game.

It's surely a long-shot, but after the Knights 0-2 start in conference, they'll take it.


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