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2008 C-USA Team-by-Team Schedule Breakdown
East Carolina LB Quentin Cotton
East Carolina LB Quentin Cotton
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 2, 2008


Conference USA is as divided as any league in college football, and the key will be the schedules. Quentin Cotton and East Carolina might be great, but the slate could be a killer. Check out the analysis and breakdown for each team's schedule.

2008 Conference USA Team Schedule 

- 2008 Conference USA Composite Schedule & Top Games

Toughest schedules
Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when

East
1. East Carolina
2. UCF
3. UAB
4. Marshall
5. Southern Miss
6. Memphis

West
1. UTEP
2. Rice
3. Tulane
4. Tulsa
5. SMU
6. Houston

East Division

East Carolina
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 8-4
Barring total disaster worst case record: 4-8
Realistic record: 6-6
 
The Pirates have it nasty to start out with Virginia Tech, West Virginia, and a trip to NC State in the first four games. If the non-conference schedule already didn't have enough issues, there's a mid-October date at Virginia just to keep things interesting. Going to Southern Miss and UCF will all but ruin East title hopes, and playing Houston from the West won't help,. but missing Tulsa is a plus.

Aug. 30 Virginia Tech (Charlotte)
Sept. 6 West Virginia
Sept. 13 at Tulane
Sept. 20 at NC State
Sept. 27 Houston
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 at Virginia
Oct. 18 Memphis
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 2 at UCF
Nov. 8 Marshall
Nov. 15 at Southern Miss
Nov. 22 at UAB
Nov. 29 UTEP

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Marshall
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 8-4
Barring total disaster worst case record: 4-8
Realistic record: 5-7

The schedule has just enough big games to make some Conference USA noise, but it's just tough enough overall to finish with a losing record. Opening with Illinois State will get things rolling, but going to Wisconsin and West Virginia and hosting Cincinnati will make for a tough first half of the year. With a road trip to Southern Miss, a 2-4 start is possible before getting a week off. On the plus side, there aren't two road dates in a row over the second half of the season, but playing Houston and Tulsa from the West is an awful break.

Aug. 30 Illinois State
Sept. 6 at Wisconsin
Sept. 13 Memphis
Sept. 20 at Southern Miss
Sept. 27 at West Virginia
Oct. 3 Cincinnati
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 at UAB
Oct. 28 Houston
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 at East Carolina
Nov. 15 UCF
Nov. 22 at Rice
Nov. 29 Tulsa

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Memphis
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 8-4
Barring total disaster worst case record: 4-8
Realistic record: 6-6

The Tigers have as good a league schedule as they could reasonably ask for with Southern Miss and UCF coming to the Liberty Bowl, and getting Tulane and SMU from the West. If they can get to November with a relatively decent record, they should be fine with two off weeks in a three week span before finishing up with UCF and Tulane. Tough dates against Ole Miss and Louisville are offset by relative layups against Nicholls State and Arkansas State.

Aug. 30 at Ole Miss
Sept. 6 Rice
Sept. 13 at Marshall
Sept. 20 Nicholls State
Sept. 27 Arkansas State
Oct. 2 at UAB
Oct. 10 Louisville
Oct. 18 at East Carolina
Oct. 25 Southern Miss
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 at SMU
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 UCF
Nov. 29 Tulane
 
- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Southern Miss
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 10-2
Barring total disaster worst case record: 6-6
Realistic record: 8-4

Larry Fedora's first year should be a good one with a relatively easy schedule that should keep his Golden Eagles in the hunt for the East title until the end. The only issue is an early November road trip to UCF, but everything else works out nicely with East Carolina coming to Hattiesburg. The interesting Boise State showdown is a home game, and Sun Belt breathers against UL Lafayette and at Arkansas State will pad the record, but it's not all fluffy and happy with a early trip to Auburn that could put the team and the season on the map.

Aug. 30 UL Lafayette
Sept. 6 at Auburn
Sept. 13 at Arkansas State
Sept. 20 Marshall
Sept. 27 OPEN DATE
Oct. 4 UTEP
Oct. 11 Boise State
Oct. 18 at Rice
Oct. 25 at Memphis
Nov. 1 UAB
Nov. 8 at UCF
Nov. 15 East Carolina
Nov. 22 OPEN DATE
Nov. 29 at SMU

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


UAB
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 6-6
Barring total disaster worst case record: 1-11
Realistic record: 3-9

As if UAB isn't already battling to get out of the doldrums, it gets tagged with the West's two best projected teams, Tulsa and Houston. On a warped plus side, the Southern Miss and UCF games were probably losses anyway, so they might as well be on the road. Getting Memphis Marshall and East Carolina at home should bring at least one win and possibly two upsets, but those are hardly two-foot putts. A trip to Florida Atlantic won't be a breather, and forget about September dates at Tennessee and South Carolina.

Aug. 30 Tulsa
Sept. 6 at Florida Atlantic
Sept. 13 at Tennessee
Sept. 20 Alabama State
Sept. 27 at South Carolina
Oct. 2 Memphis
Oct. 11 at Houston
Oct. 18 Marshall
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 at Southern Miss
Nov. 8 OPEN DATE
Nov. 15 at Tulane
Nov. 22 East Carolina
Nov. 29 at UCF

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


UCF
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 9-3
Barring total disaster worst case record: 4-8
Realistic record: 7-5

The defending Conference USA champions have to go to Tulsa and get a relatively tough game at UTEP to deal with from the West, but they also get the two other East contenders, Southern Miss and East Carolina, at home. Things get interesting late with back-to-back road trips to Marshall and Memphis before closing out with a sure-thing against UAB. The season opener against South Carolina State is forgivable considering the other three non-conference dates are South Florida, at Boston College and at Miami.

Aug. 30 South Carolina State
Sept. 5 South Florida
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 at Boston College
Sept. 27 at UTEP
Oct. 4 SMU
Oct. 11 at Miami
Oct. 18 OPEN DATE
Oct. 26 at Tulsa
Nov. 2 East Carolina
Nov. 8 Southern Miss
Nov. 15 at Marshall
Nov. 22 at Memphis
Nov. 29 UAB

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


West Division

Houston
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 9-3
Barring total disaster worst case record: 6-6
Realistic record: 8-4

The Kevin Sumlin era has a chance to get off to a big start with a couple of early road wins. If the Cougars can hold serve at home and pull off a win at Colorado State or East Carolina before going into an off-week, the record should be tremendous. There are back to back October road dates at SMU and Marshall, but they're winnable, they come after the UAB game and before a week off. Getting Tulsa and UTEP at home will help, and closing out at Rice, which is like a home game, is yet another huge break. 

Aug. 30 Southern
Sept. 6 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 13 Air Force
Sept. 20 at Colorado State
Sept. 27 at East Carolina
Oct. 4 OPEN DATE
Oct. 11 UAB
Oct. 18 at SMU
Oct. 28 at Marshall
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 Tulane
Nov. 15 Tulsa
Nov. 22 UTEP
Nov. 29 at Rice

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Rice
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 7-5
Barring total disaster worst case record: 2-10
Realistic record: 4-8

Rice can't take anyone for granted, but it has a few winnable non-conference games against North Texas and Army at home, while it has a puncher's chance at Vanderbilt. Forget about showing up at Texas. In C-USA play, the Owls get a good Southern Miss team from the East and a mediocre Memphis squad, and Houston technically is a home game. They don't leave the Houston era after traveling to UTEP on the first. The Tulsa game is a likely loss, so it might as well be on the road.

Aug. 29 SMU
Sept. 6 at Memphis
Sept. 13 at Vanderbilt
Sept. 20 at Texas
Sept. 27 North Texas
Oct. 4 at Tulsa
Oct. 11 OPEN DATE
Oct. 18 Southern Miss
Oct. 25 at Tulane
Nov. 1 at UTEP
Nov. 8 Army
Nov. 15 OPEN DATE
Nov. 22 Marshall
Nov. 29 Houston

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


SMU
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 7-5
Barring total disaster worst case record: 2-10
Realistic record: 4-8

The June Jones offense might need a few games to get tuned up, and it'll get it in early shootouts at Rice and at Texas Tech along with a true warm-up against Texas State. Two off weeks in November should help the Mustangs stay fresh for big games against Southern Miss and UTEP, while the two projected West favorites, Tulsa and Houston, have to travel to Dallas. On the down side, along with facing the Golden Eagles, SMU has to play UCF from the East. Getting TCU and Navy in the midst of the conference schedule will be tough.

Aug. 29 at Rice
Sept. 6 Texas State
Sept. 13 at Texas Tech
Sept. 20 TCU
Sept. 27 at Tulane
Oct. 4 at UCF
Oct. 11 Tulsa
Oct. 18 Houston
Oct. 25 at Navy
Nov. 1 OPEN DATE
Nov. 8 Memphis
Nov. 15 at UTEP
Nov. 22 OPEN DATE
Nov. 29 Southern Miss

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Tulane
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 7-5
Barring total disaster worst case record: 2-10
Realistic record: 4-8

Getting one of the open dates in the first week of the season isn't a help in any way, and starting out at Alabama isn't going to kick things off well. Winning early home games against UL Monroe, SMU and Army are a must, and beating Rice after a mid-October off week is important. November is brutal. Very brutal with road trips to LSU, Houston, Tulsa and Memphis wrapped around a home date against UAB. Basically, the Green Wave can't give away any home games.

Aug. 30 OPEN DATE
Sept. 6 at Alabama
Sept. 13 East Carolina
Sept. 20 UL Monroe
Sept. 27 SMU
Oct. 4 Army
Oct. 11 at UTEP
Oct. 18 OPEN DATE
Oct. 25 Rice
Nov. 1 at LSU
Nov. 8 at Houston
Nov. 15 UAB
Nov. 22 at Tulsa
Nov. 29 at Memphis

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


Tulsa
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 10-2
Barring total disaster worst case record: 5-7
Realistic record: 8-4

The Golden Hurricane gets its rest early with an off-week to open the season and then the other coming two weeks later after a trip to North Texas. And then it's a marathon with 11 games in 11 weeks. The odd schedule gets even more bizarre with five home games in a six week span before closing out with four road trips in the final five weeks. Getting UCF at home is a plus, and going to Marshall from the East isn't so bad, but the Houston game is on the road. The non-conference slate is eclectic with home games against Central Arkansas and New Mexico along with trips to North Texas and Arkansas.

Aug. 30 OPEN DATE
Sept. 6 at North Texas
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 New Mexico
Sept. 27 Central Arkansas
Oct. 4 Rice
Oct. 11 at SMU
Oct. 18 UTEP
Oct. 26 UCF
Nov. 1 at Arkansas
Nov. 8 at UAB
Nov. 15 at Houston
Nov. 22 Tulane
Nov. 29 at Marshall

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way


UTEP
Realistic best case record with this schedule: 8-4
Barring total disaster worst case record: 3-9
Realistic record: 5-7

Considering UTEP's recent problems over the second half of the season, it's vital to get off to a hot start. Good luck with that getting the East's two best teams, UCF and Southern Miss, along with Texas and an odd, tougher-than-it-looks opener at Buffalo. Throw in a mid-October road trip to Tulsa, and things could get ugly. As far as the second half, it eases up somewhat getting Rice a week off, but there are three road games in the final including trips to Houston and East Carolina to close.

Aug. 28 at Buffalo
Sept. 6 Texas
Sept. 13 OPEN DATE
Sept. 20 New Mexico State
Sept. 27 UCF
Oct. 4 at Southern Miss
Oct. 11 Tulane
Oct. 18 at Tulsa
Oct. 25 OPEN DATE
Nov. 1 Rice
Nov. 8 at UL Lafayette
Nov. 15 SMU
Nov. 22 at Houston
Nov. 29 at East Carolina

- Almost certain win
- Likely loss
- Could go either way