Gone are the high hopes of an undefeated season made more complete with a victory over the hated Tar Heels, what remains is a winnable schedule against C-USA foes. Beginning this Saturday at West Point the Pirates can continue their march to a first ever conference crown. With one C-USA win (over Tulane) already in the bank, the ECU schedule seems favorable for a first-ever C-USA crown - that is, if the Pirates can avoid their penchant for upset losses.
The Pirates' remaining schedule doesn't include recent nemesis the University of Alabama-Birmingham – definitely a relief to ECU fans. Also, the Blazers have already suffered a setback in conference play, to Southern Mississippi – more good news for the Pirates.
Speaking of Southern Miss, they lost to Memphis. ECU plays both those teams at home along with Louisville, maybe the biggest hindrance to an ECU C-USA championship.
Despite losing to Division 1-AA Northwestern State, Texas Christian could also prove a major obstacle in the Pirates' path to glory. The Horned Frogs have only lost one other game, to Nebraska, en-route to their current record of 3-2, 1-0 in C-USA.
Unfortunately, ECU doesn't play Houston this year. Along with Tulane, the Cougars appear to be the whipping boys of C-USA. Both teams are winless in conference play. The latest loss for Tulane was a 46-33 setback to future ECU opponent Cincinnati. Winless Houston fell 28-14 to the Pirates' upcoming opponent, Army.
Currently only four C-USA teams have unblemished conference records – ECU (1-0), Cincinnati (2-0), TCU (1-0) and Louisville (1-0).
The Pirates begin their new season Saturday in West Point. Let's hope they can put the old one behind them.