2009 C-USA Team-by-Team Schedule Breakdown
This story originally published on CollegeFootballNews.com
Houston QB Case Keenum
Houston QB Case Keenum
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Mar 28, 2009


Conference USA teams play the nation's nastiest non-conference slates, but the key will be league play. Can Case Keenum and Houston get through to the C-USA title game? Who has the toughest schedule (and the easiest)? Check out the analysis and breakdown for each team's schedule.

2009 Conference USA Team Schedule 

East  UAB | UCF | East Carolina | Marshall | Memphis | Southern Miss
West  Houston | Rice | SMU | Tulane | Tulsa | UTEP

- 2009 Conference USA Composite Schedule & Top Games
- 2008 Conference USA Composite Schedule & Top Games

Toughest schedules
Based on home games as well as who the teams play. when. 1 is the toughest, 6 is the easiest

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

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

East Division

East Carolina Pirates

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Appalachian State, at West Virginia, at North Carolina, Virginia Tech
Games Against the West: at SMU, Rice, at Tulsa
Summary: It's not that bad if the Pirates can survive the first half with four road games in the first six. The non-conference slate is brutal going on the road to play West Virginia and North Carolina after starting out against the always-dangerous Appalachian State, and then there's Virginia Tech on a Thursday night in early November. The conference slate isn't awful with a home game against Southern Miss to close things out. Playing at Tulsa isn't a positive, but that's an interdivision game. The Pirates shouldn't have too many problems with the East.

Sept. 5 Appalachian State
Sept. 12 at West Virginia
Sept. 19 at North Carolina
Sept. 26 UCF
Oct. 3 at Marshall
Oct. 10 at SMU
Oct. 17 Rice
Oct. 27 at Memphis
Oct. 31 OPEN DATE
Nov. 5 Virginia Tech
Nov. 15 at Tulsa
Nov. 21 UAB
Nov. 28 Southern Miss


Marshall Thundering Herd

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Southern Illinois, at Virginia Tech, Bowling Green, at West Virginia
Games Against the West: at Tulane, SMU, at UTEP
Summary: There's the in-state rivalry against West Virginia and the nasty game against Virginia Tech, but Southern Illinois and Bowling Green aren't bad non-conference dates. The big break comes in interdivision play getting Tulane, SMU, and UTEP; three teams that didn't go bowing. Getting the stars of the East, East Carolina and Southern Miss, at home is big, and playing three home games in four dates, with a bye week in the midst, should mean a nice finishing kick. However, the back-to-back road games against Tulane and West Virginia will anchor two stretches of three road games in four weeks.

Sept. 5 Southern Illinois
Sept. 12 at Virginia Tech
Sept. 19 Bowling Green
Sept. 26 at Memphis
Oct. 3 East Carolina
Oct. 10 at Tulane
Oct. 17 at West Virginia
Oct. 24 UAB
Nov. 1 at UCF
Nov. 7 OPEN DATE
Nov. 14 Southern Miss
Nov. 21 SMU
Nov. 28 at UTEP


Memphis Tigers

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Ole Miss, at Middle Tennessee, UT Martin, at Tennessee
Games Against the West: UTEP, at Houston, at Tulsa
Summary: It's not all that bad over the first half, and then comes the hammer. If the Tigers aren't 5-1 going to start, a bowl game might not happen with this brutal finishing kick: at Southern Miss, East Carolina, at Tennessee, UAB, at Houston, and at Tulsa. Three of the final four games are on the road, and Memphis will be the underdogs in all three (maybe by double digits). If MU can beat one other team than UAB over the final six weeks it'll be a major success.

Sept. 5 Ole Miss
Sept. 12 at Middle Tennessee
Sept. 19 UT Martin
Sept. 26 Marshall
Oct. 3 at UCF
Oct. 10 UTEP
Oct. 17 at Southern Miss
Oct. 24 OPEN DATE
Oct. 27 East Carolina
Nov. 7 at Tennessee
Nov. 14 UAB
Nov. 21 at Houston
Nov. 28 at Tulsa


Southern Miss Golden Eagles

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Alcorn State, Virginia, at Kansas, at Louisville
Games Against the West: Tulane, at Houston, Tulsa
Summary: Three of the last four games are on the road, including showdowns against Houston and East Carolina. However, the first three games are at home before going away from home to deal with Kansas and Louisville wrapped around the UAB game. Outside of a November game against Tulsa, it would be nice if there were bigger games at home. Going 2-2 in non-conference play is a must even though there are games against Virginia, at Kansas and at Louisville to go along with the scrimmage against Alcorn State.

Sept. 5 Alcorn State
Sept. 12 UCF
Sept. 19 Virginia
Sept. 26 at Kansas
Oct. 3 at UAB
Oct. 10 at Louisville
Oct. 17 Memphis
Oct. 24 Tulane
Oct. 31 at Houston
Nov. 7 OPEN DATE
Nov. 14 at Marshall
Nov. 21 Tulsa
Nov. 28 at East Carolina


UAB Blazers

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

Non-Conference Schedule: at Troy, at Texas A&M, at Ole Miss, Florida Atlantic
Games Against the West: Rice, SMU, at UTEP
Summary: Are the Blazers ever going to play at home? There are seven road games in a nine-game span, with five in six weeks coming off the bye week, and the home games aren't all that helpful outside of a game against Southern Miss. While it might normally be a nice thing to play two teams from the Sun Belt, UAB has to play the league's two best in Troy and Florida Atlantic. Getting Rice, SMU and UTEP from the West isn't bad, and the conference road games, outside of a game at East Carolina, is fine.

Sept. 5 Rice
Sept. 12 SMU
Sept. 19 at Troy
Sept. 26 at Texas A&M
Oct. 3 Southern Miss
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 at Ole Miss
Oct. 24 at Marshall
Oct. 31 at UTEP
Nov. 7 Florida Atlantic
Nov. 14 at Memphis
Nov. 21 at East Carolina
Nov. 28 UCF


UCF Knights

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Samford, Buffalo, Miami, at Texas
Games Against the West: at Rice, Houston, Tulane
Summary: There might be a road trip to Texas, but the non-conference slate isn't all that awful with Samford and Buffalo going to Orlando along with a huge statement game against Miami. Conference-wise, it's nasty getting a bad break facing Houston from the West while going on the road to play Southern Miss and East Carolina. The East battles against the Golden Eagles and the Pirates are both in September, meaning UCF will know exactly where it stands in the C-USA race by October 1st. There aren't two road games in a row there's a nice run of four home games in five against league teams.

Sept. 5 Samford
Sept. 12 at Southern Miss
Sept. 19 Buffalo
Sept. 26 at East Carolina
Oct. 3 Memphis
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 17 Miami
Oct. 24 at Rice
Nov. 1 Marshall
Nov. 7 at Texas
Nov. 14 Houston
Nov. 21 Tulane
Nov. 28 at UAB


West Division

Houston Cougars

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Northwestern State, at Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, at Mississippi State
Games Against the East: Southern Miss, at UCF, Memphis
Summary: There's a huge early test at Oklahoma State in what should be one of September's most entertaining offensive games before dealing with another shootout the following game against Texas Tech. In conference play, the Cougars have a key showdown at Tulsa, but the rest of the slate isn't all that bad with Southern Miss and Memphis coming to Houston. Four of the first six games are on the road, but the season ends with two home dates. If this really is the league's most talented team, it needs to go on a big run over the second half of the year.

Sept. 5 Northwestern State
Sept. 12 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 19 OPEN DATE
Sept. 26 Texas Tech
Oct. 3 at UTEP
Oct. 10 at Mississippi State
Oct. 17 at Tulane
Oct. 24 SMU
Oct. 31 Southern Miss
Nov. 7 at Tulsa
Nov. 14 at UCF
Nov. 21 Memphis
Nov. 28 Rice


Rice Owls

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

Non-Conference Schedule: at Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Vanderbilt, Navy
Games Against the East: at UAB, at East Carolina, UCF
Summary: The Owls open up the season with non-conference game at UAB. That could be a must-win with road games against Texas Tech and Oklahoma State to follow followed up by games against Vanderbilt, Tulsa, Navy and at East Carolina. It wouldn't be a total shock if the Owls start out 0-7. On the plus side, six of the final nine games are at home. However, two of the road games are against East Carolina and Houston.

Sept. 5 at UAB
Sept. 12 at Texas Tech
Sept. 19 at Oklahoma State
Sept. 26 Vanderbilt
Oct. 3 Tulsa
Oct. 10 Navy
Oct. 17 at East Carolina
Oct. 24 UCF
Oct. 31 OPEN DATE
Nov. 7 at SMU
Nov. 14 Tulane
Nov. 21 UTEP
Nov. 28 at Houston


SMU Mustangs

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Stephen F. Austin, at Washington State, TCU, Navy
Games Against the East: at UAB, East Carolina, at Marshall
Summary: For anyone else, the first month of the season would be a walk in the park playing Stephen F. Austin, at UAB, at Washington State and Tuale, but things gets really nasty in a big hurry. The Mustangs have to go on the road to play TCU from the Mountain West and go away for back-to-back road games against Houston and Tulsa. There are winnable home games against Tulane, Rice, and UTEP, and the Mustangs have to win all three. One of the big problems is the lack of a week off. SMU's season ends early, but it's 12 straight games in 12 straight weeks.

Sept. 5 Stephen F. Austin
Sept. 12 at UAB
Sept. 19 at Washington State
Sept. 26 Tulane
Oct. 3 at TCU
Oct. 10 East Carolina
Oct. 17 Navy
Oct. 24 at Houston
Oct. 31 at Tulsa
Nov. 7 Rice
Nov. 14 UTEP
Nov. 21 at Marshall
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE


Tulane Green Wave

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

Non-Conference Schedule: BYU, McNeese State, at Army, at LSU
Games Against the East: Marshall, at Southern Miss, at UCF
Summary: The non-conference schedule has a layup against McNeese State, but BYU and road trips to Army and LSU are hardly going to be easy for a team looking to fatten up its record. Four of the last five games are on the road including East dates at UCF and Southern Miss. Houston and Tulsa come to New Orleans, and anything less than a split could all but guarantee a losing season.

Sept. 4 Tulsa
Sept. 12 BYU
Sept. 19 McNeese State
Sept. 26 at SMU
Oct. 3 at Army
Oct. 10 Marshall
Oct. 17 Houston
Oct. 24 at Southern Miss
Oct. 31 at LSU
Nov. 7 UTEP
Nov. 14 at Rice
Nov. 21 at UCF
Nov. 28 OPEN DATE


Tulsa Golden Hurricane

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

Non-Conference Schedule: at New Mexico, at Oklahoma, Sam Houston State, Boise State
Games Against the East: East Carolina, at Southern Miss, Memphis
Summary: Starting out the year with three straight road games, four in the first five, and five of the first seven is hardly a way to rebuild. On the plus side, the Golden Hurricane plays at home for four of the last five games. Playing Oklahoma and Boise State will be high-profile non-conference games, but Tulsa needs some more tuning up. The biggest problem is the interdivision schedule getting the East's three toughest teams: East Carolina, Southern Miss and Memphis. Against the West, Tulsa gets Houston at home.

Sept. 4 at Tulane
Sept. 12 at New Mexico
Sept. 19 at Oklahoma
Sept. 26 Sam Houston State
Oct. 3 at Rice
Oct. 10 OPEN DATE
Oct. 14 Boise State
Oct. 21 at UTEP
Oct. 31 SMU
Nov. 7 Houston
Nov. 15 East Carolina
Nov. 21 at Southern Miss
Nov. 28 Memphis


UTEP Miners

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

Non-Conference Schedule: Buffalo, Kansas, at New Mexico State, at Texas
Games Against the East: at Memphis, UAB, Marshall
Summary: The Miners get the non-conference slate out of the way in September before diving into league play with a whopper against Houston. Buffalo is hardly a layup, even though the defending MAC champion is in a period of transition, and forget about the games against Kansas and Texas. A run of three straight road games to kick off November would normally be nasty, but it's not really that bad playing Tulane, SMU and Rice. There's no East Carolina or Southern Miss from the East.

Sept. 5 Buffalo
Sept. 12 Kansas
Sept. 19 at New Mexico State
Sept. 26 at Texas
Oct. 3 Houston
Oct. 10 at Memphis
Oct. 17 OPEN DATE
Oct. 21 Tulsa
Oct. 31 UAB
Nov. 7 at Tulane
Nov. 14 at SMU
Nov. 21 at Rice
Nov. 28 Marshall

- 2009 Conference USA Composite Schedule & Top Games

      




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