Thoughts on C-USA Football in 2023

It’s never too soon to look ahead, and with college realignment being a headline everyone is reading about, it’s exciting to look ahead. But what if you’re a fan of the C-USA? The conference everyone says is just trying to survive. The conference that lost 3 teams to the Sun Belt, and 6 teams to the American Athletic Conference. The conference that was left with 5 teams FIU, Louisiana Tech, UTEP, Western Kentucky and Middle Tennessee (Who flirted with the idea of leaving to the MAC). But this is 2023, C-USA has added Jacksonville State, Liberty, NMSU, and Sam Houston. Where do they stand amongst the other Group 5 conferences? Will they be more or less competitive in 2023 as opposed to 2021? I’m glad you asked, here are my thoughts.

The C-USA will be the smallest conference in 2023 with only 9 teams. But that doesn’t mean they won’t have good teams. Liberty since going the FBS ranks has made three consecutive bowl games and went 10-1 in 2020 and has produced a NFL QB out of Malik Willis to go along with 6 other pros. UTEP seems to be having a resurgence after having their first winning season in a long time, and trying to get fan support with their #RiseUp915 social media. If they keep up the momentum it should be exciting times in El Paso. Louisiana Tech is coming off from an uncharacteristic losing season at 3-9, but before 2021 they hadn’t had a losing season since 2013. Sonny Cumbie will be in charge of their rebuild, and Sonny coming from Texas Tech will like throwing the ball. Sam Houston won the 2021 FCS National Championship after beating North Dakota State. Jacksonville State is the first ever FCS school to beat Florida State at home. Western Kentucky is a roller coaster but they’re a staple for basketball. You can’t mention basketball without including NMSU, who also hired a coach who is known for being able to rebuild a team, so their future should be exciting.

So where does the conference stand amongst the other conferences? I firmly believe this will be a stronger basketball conference until the expansion continues with football (looking at you Tarleton). The thing about only having 9 teams is, they will play a round robin schedule. Every single team will play each other. So I expect a lot of competition as opposed to some conferences where we see the same teams in the conference championship.

I firmly believe the C-USA will be the “worst” conference in football. I say this because of the number and the pure fact someone has to be the “worst”. I in no way believe the talent level will be low. Rumors are swirling about C-USA adding 2-3 more teams and I believe they should. My unpopular opinion is the C-USA should add UMass and UConn in football. The competition will be more competitive as opposed to 2021 due to the intense scramble to be the best in a conference everyone is saying it’s just trying to survive. But isn’t all college football just trying to survive?

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