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“2002

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2002 Conference USA Preview
Official Conference USA Website
Southern College Sports

TEAM SCHEDULES
ARMY
CINCINNATI
EAST CAROLINA
September 7
HCross
September 14
at Rutgers
September 21
Lou
September 28
So Miss
October 5
at ECU
October 12
TCU
October 19
at Houston
October 26
UAB
November 9
AF
November 16
at Tulane
November 23
at Memphis
December 7
Navy (*)
September 2
TCU
September 14
WVa
September 21
Ohio St
September 28
at Temple
October 5
Miami,Oh
October 12
at Tulane
October 19
at So Miss
October 26
Memphis
November 7
at Lou
November 16
Houston
November 23
at Hawaii
November 30
UAB
December 6
at ECU
August 31
at Duke
September 7
at WF
September 14
Tulane
September 28
at WVa
October 5
Army
October 19
S Florida
October 26
at Lou
November 9
at Houston
November 16
at UAB
November 23
TCU
November 30
at So Miss
December 6
Cincy
















HOUSTON
LOUISVILLE
MEMPHIS
August 31
Rice
September 7
Tulane
September 14
LA-Laf
September 21
at Texas
October 5
at TCU
October 12
at UAB
October 19
Army
November 2
at Memphis
November 9
ECU
November 16
at Cincy
November 23
S Florida
November 30
Lou
September 1
KY
September 7
at Duke
September 14
at Colo St
September 21
at Army
September 26
Florida St
October 8
at Memphis
October 19
TCU
October 26
ECU
November 7
Cincy
November 14
at So Miss
November 23
UAB
November 30
at Houston
August 31
Murray St
September 7
at Miss
September 14
at So Miss
September 21
Tulane
September 28
at UAB
October 8
Lou
October 19
Miss St
October 26
at Cincy
November 2
Houston
November 9
at S Florida
November 23
Army
November 30
at TCU
















SOUTHERN MISS
TCU
TULANE
August 31
Jackson St
September 7
Illinois
September 14
Memphis
September 21
at Alabama
September 28
at Army
October 12
at S Florida
October 19
Cincy
October 30
at TCU
November 9
at UAB
November 14
Lou
November 23
at Tulane
November 30
ECU
September 2
at Cincy
September 7
at NW’trn
September 14
SMU
September 21
N Texas
October 5
Houston
October 12
at Army
October 19
at Lou
October 30
So Miss
November 9
Tulane
November 23
at ECU
November 30
Memphis
August 31
Southern
September 7
at Houston
September 14
at ECU
September 21
at Memphis
September 28
Texas
October 5
at LA-Mon
October 12
Cincy
October 19
UAB
October 26
Navy
November 9
at TCU
November 16
Army
November 23
So Miss
















UAB
August 31
at Florida
September 7
Troy St
September 14
Pitt
September 21
at LA-Laf
September 28
Memphis
October 12
Houston
October 19
at Tulane
October 26
at Army
November 9
So Miss
November 16
ECU
November 23
at Lou
November 30
at Cincy
















(*) East Rutherford


Conference USA Must-See Games
September 1
Kentucky at Louisville
September 7
East Carolina at Wake Forest
September 7
Illinois at Southern Miss
September 14
Louisville at Colorado State
September 21
Ohio State at Cincinnati
September 21
Southern Miss at Alabama
September 26
Florida State at Louisville
October 5
Miami (OH) at Cincinnati
October 8
Louisville at Memphis
October 19
Cincinnati at Southern Miss
October 19
Mississippi State at Memphis
October 26
East Carolina at Louisville
October 26
Memphis at Cincinnati
November 9
Cincinnati at Louisville
November 14
Louisville at Southern Miss
November 30
East Carolina at Southern Miss


Rating the Conference USA Schedules
Southern Miss
Memphis
Louisville
Cincinnati
Houston
East Carolina
TCU
UAB
Tulane
Army


Conference USA Out-of-Conference Opponents
Army
Holy Cross, at Rutgers, Air Force, Navy
Cincinnati
West Virginia, Ohio St, at Temple, Miami (OH), at Hawaii
East Carolina
at Duke, at Wake Forest, at West Virginia, South Florida
Houston
at Rice, Louisiana-Lafayette, at Texas, South Florida
Louisville
Kentucky, at Duke, at Colorado State, Florida State
Memphis
Murray St, at Mississippi, Mississippi St, at South Florida
Southern Miss
Jackson St, Illinois, at Alabama, at South Florida
TCU
at Northwestern, SMU, North Texas
Tulane
Southern, Texas, at Louisiana-Monroe, Navy
UAB
at Florida, Troy St, Pittsburgh, at LA-Lafayette


Conference USA Coaching Changes
There were no coaching changes in Conference USA.


Projected Conference USA Standings
TeamOverallConference
Louisville
9-3
7-1
Cincinnati
9-4
6-2
Southern Miss
8-4
6-2
Memphis
6-6
5-3
TCU
6-5
4-4
East Carolina
6-6
4-4
UAB
5-7
3-5
Tulane
4-8
2-6
Houston
3-9
2-6
Army
3-9
1-7


Individual Team Coverage
ARMY
Probable Wins
Holy Cross
Probable Losses
Louisville, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Tulane, Memphis
Toss-Ups
Rutgers, TCU, Houston, UAB, Air Force, Navy
Returning Starters
Offense: 4…..Defense: 6
Projected Record
3-9 / 1-7
Official Site
www.GoArmySports.com

The Black Knights won only three games last season while finishing eighth in the conference. Four offensive and six defensive starters return from that team to try for a winning season. The OOC schedule is very weak, with only one of the four games on the road and that being at Rutgers. The CUSA schedule will challenge Army. Six of the Black Knights’ twelve games are in West Point. With the easy non-conference schedule, Army should be able to pick up a couple easy wins, but I don’t see the Knights anywhere near the top of the conference, or even the middle. This should be another bad season for Army.


CINCINNATI
Probable Wins
TCU, West Virginia, Temple, Tulane, Houston, UAB
Probable Losses
Ohio St, Louisville
Toss-Ups
Miami (OH), Southern Miss, Memphis, East Carolina, Hawaii
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 8
Projected Record
9-4 / 6-2
Official Site
www.UCBearcats.com

The Bearcats had a successful 2001 season, winning seven games and participating in the postseason. A total of sixteen starters, eight from each side of the ball, return for Cincinnati this season. The non-conference schedule is fairly tough, with a trip to Hawaii as well as a home game with Ohio State. The Bearcats are not only taking advantage of playing the extra twelfth game this season, but they are doing one better, scheduling thirteen football contests in 2002. The good news for Cincinnati fans is that over half of the games, seven, are in Cincinnati. With QB Guidugli returning, I think this could be the most successful Bearcats football team in a while, as they should challenge for the CUSA title.


EAST CAROLINA
Probable Wins
Duke, Tulane, Army, Houston
Probable Losses
Wake Forest, Louisville, Cincinnati, Southern Miss
Toss-Ups
West Virginia, South Florida, UAB, TCU
Returning Starters
Offense: 6…..Defense: 6
Projected Record
6-6 / 4-4
Official Site
www.ECUPirates.com

East Carolina has been one of the steadiest teams in CUSA over the past few seasons. After last year’s .500 season and a trip to the postseason, the Pirates could take a step down in 2002. Only twelve starters, six from each side of the ball, return this season. The OOC schedule, which includes road trips to West Virginia and Wake Forest as well as a home game with South Florida, is not too tough. ECU has only five games at home in Greenville which will make the task tougher. The experience may be lacking at first, but I think the Pirates can pull off a .500 season both overall and in CUSA.


HOUSTON
Probable Wins
LA-Lafayette
Probable Losses
Texas, TCU, UAB, Memphis, East Carolina, Cincinnati, South Florida, Louisville
Toss-Ups
Rice, Tulane, Army
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 5
Projected Record
3-9 / 2-6
Official Site
www.UHCougars.com

Houston was the worst team in CUSA last season, going winless on the season and finishing dead last in the conference standings. Eight starters from the offense and five from the defense return this season, however, which should give UH experience, especially on the offense. Non-conference games at home against LA-Lafayette and South Florida as well as a road OOC contest at Rice are winnable. The CUSA slate also has a couple possibilities for victories for the Cougars, but I don’t see Houston winning more than a few games this season, and they should finish at or near the bottom of CUSA.


LOUISVILLE
Probable Wins
Kentucky, Duke, Army, TCU, East Carolina, Cincinnati, UAB, Hawaii
Probable Losses
Florida State
Toss-Ups
Colorado St, Memphis, Southern Miss
Returning Starters
Offense: 5…..Defense: 10
Projected Record
9-3 / 7-1
Official Site
www.UofLSports.com

The Louisville Cardinals have also been one of the most successful football teams over the past few years, and they should continue that streak again in 2002. Only five offensive starters return, but ten players from the defensive side of the ball return, which will make the UL defensive one of the most experienced in the nation. Spectacular returning QB Ragone will make up for the lack of experience on offense. The OOC schedule is one of the tougher ones in CUSA, with home games against Kentucky and Florida State, as well as a matchup with Mountain West-contender Colorado State. I expect Louisville to be the class of Conference USA this season, and they have a chance to have double-digit wins by the time the regular season is over.


MEMPHIS
Probable Wins
Murray St, Tulane, Houston, Army
Probable Losses
Mississippi, Southern Miss, Louisville, Mississippi St
Toss-Ups
UAB, Cincinnati, South Florida, TCU
Returning Starters
Offense: 9…..Defense: 8
Projected Record
6-6 / 5-3
Official Site
www.GoTigersGo.com

The Memphis Tigers are an up-and-coming team in CUSA. UM just missed a bowl bid last season as they went 5-6 overall but finished in seventh place in the conference. The Tigers will be an experienced team as seventeen starters return for 2002 (nine on offense and eight on defense). Memphis’s non-conference schedule, which includes trips to Mississippi and South Florida, as well as a visit from Mississippi State, will be a challenge for the Tigers. I like the Tigers’ chances of capturing at least a .500 record this season. If they are to go to a bowl game, though, Memphis will have to fare well in CUSA and likely finish in the top four at the end of the season.


SOUTHERN MISS
Probable Wins
Jackson St, Memphis, Army, UAB, Tulane, East Carolina
Probable Losses
Alabama
Toss-Ups
Illinois, South Florida, Cincinnati, TCU, Louisville
Returning Starters
Offense: 8…..Defense: 9
Projected Record
8-4 / 6-2
Official Site
www.SouthernMiss.com

Southern Mississippi has also been one of the conference’s most consistent teams as of late. Although the Golden Eagles missed out on the postseason in 2001, their record (6-5 / 4-3) was not bad. Seventeen starters return to Hattiesburg this season, eight offensive and nine defensive. The non-conference schedule is probably the conference’s toughest, with a home game against Big Ten-member Illinois as well as trips to Alabama and South Florida. There doesn’t appear to be a game on the USM schedule they can’t win (as usual). I expect the Golden Eagles to pull a couple upsets along the way but also lose a game or two they shouldn’t. That all adds up to a good, but not great, season for USM, but I do expect them to challenge for the conference title.


TCU
Probable Wins
SMU, North Texas, Houston, Army, Tulane
Probable Losses
Cincinnati, Louisville
Toss-Ups
Northwestern, Southern Miss, East Carolina, Memphis
Returning Starters
Offense: 7…..Defense: 6
Projected Record
6-5 / 4-4
Official Site
www.GoFrogs.com

The Horned Frogs finished 2001 with a .500 record as they captured CUSA’s last available bowl bid in the Mobile Bowl. Seven offensive starters and six defensive starters return for the team that finished tied for fith in the conference last season. The non-conference slate has only one tough game, a road trip to Northwestern. Over half of the Frogs’ eleven games are in Fort Worth. TCU is always in the games they play, which leads to a lot of close, fourth-quarter wins. This season, the Frogs should again be around the .500 mark in both their overall and conference records.


TULANE
Probable Wins
Southern, Navy, Army
Probable Losses
East Carolina, Memphis, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU, Southern Miss
Toss-Ups
Houston, LA-Monroe, UAB
Returning Starters
Offense: 5…..Defense: 9
Projected Record
4-8 / 2-6
Official Site
www.TulaneGreenWave.com

The Green Wave finished the 2001 season with a dismal 3-9 record while winning only one CUSA game. Five offensive and nine defensive starters return this season to lead Tulane. There is only one tough game on the OOC slate, a visit from Big XII-power Texas. Seven of the Wave’s games are at home, but the Super Dome isn’t a thrilling place to play when it’s only one-fourth full. Tulane will likely struggle again this season, finishing near the bottom of the conference.


UAB
Probable Wins
Houston
Probable Losses
Florida, Southern Miss, Louisville, Cincinnati
Toss-Ups
Troy St, Pittsburgh, LA-Lafayette, Memphis, Tulane, Army, East Carolina
Returning Starters
Offense: 6…..Defense: 2
Projected Record
5-7 / 3-5
Official Site
www.UABSports.com

UAB has risen to the top half of the conference over the past few years, mostly thanks to solid defensive play. The Blazers return only six offensive starters and two from the defensive side of the ball in ’02, though. The non-conference schedule has a couple of tough matchups, one against Florida at the Swamp and a home game with Pitt. Six of UAB’s twelve games are in Birmingham. One of the most interesting matchups is a game in Birmingham where UAB takes on in-state rival and D-I-newcomer Troy State. I don’t think UAB will continue their streak at the top of the conference in ’02, proabably finishing just under .500 both overall and in CUSA play.



Conference USA Projections by Jonathan.
Southern College Sports
Conference USA
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Team Schedules

Must-See Games

Rating the Schedules

OOC Opponents

Coaching Changes

Projected Standings

Individual Team Coverage…
  Army
  Cincinnati
  East Carolina
  Houston
  Louisville
  Memphis
  Southern Miss
  TCU
  Tulane
  UAB