Easily the weekend's potential "wow" matchup pits the Mustangs fresh off a tough OT loss to Navy, against Playstation University also known as the Houston Cougars. Both teams have the ability to light it up and this could be the equivalent of putting your favorite football video game on its lowest skill level and playing against someone as good as you are. SMU is the lone undefeated team in C-USA play, so the Cougars must take out the Stangs in order to play for the C-USA title. Neither team is very strong on defense. You could say defense is what keeps Houston out of the BCS mix this year (see UTEP) Bo Levi Mitchell is emerging as a good QB and he will have many scoring chances on Saturday. SMU will put up at least 30, but it isn't enough as Case Keenum has another big day.
The Blazers travel to Marshall for a C-USA East showdown. The teams are currently tied for second in the East division behind East Carolina. Darius Marshall was held in check for the most part by West Virginia in last week's loss. Expect Marshall to return to form this week against the Blazers. UAB averages 6 yards a carry on the ground behind leading rusher and passer QB Joe Webb. Unless you're Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick, it's not usually good that the leading passer and rusher is the same person.
UCF after giving Miami a tough game last week will assume the role of Rice Cooker against the Owls who can't score or stop anyone. Brynn Harvey should have a field day running the football as the Knights take care of business on their road to a bowl berth.
Tulane was pasted by Houston last week although they played the Cougars tough in the first half. The second half was a different story. On the road against a solid Southern Miss team, the Green Wave will have to play a full game and it still may not be enough. Expect Tulane to remain winless in Conference USA.
Southern Miss 31-21
ECU vs. Memphis
Tommy West has had to look over his shoulder this year in Memphis as his job is anything but secure. Now he gets a national TV game against East Carolina. Memphis got steamrolled by then No. 8 Ole Miss on the big stage in September. You have to think that Memphis will not want to be embarrassed again. They won't be. But ECU still pulls it out and stays on top in C-USA East.