Conference USA Recruiting Class Rankings
#2 Southern Miss.
#4 East Carolina
Conference USA Top Freshman 2012
Darion Monroe CB Tulane
Deontay Greenberry WR Houston
Amos Leggett CB Marshall
Anthony Alford QB Southern Miss.
Alex Lyons LB Rice
Conference USA Coaching Rankings
#1 June Jones SMU
#2 George O'leary UCF
#3 Bill Blankenship Tulsa
#4 Doc Holliday Marshall
#5 Garrick McGee UAB
#6 Ellis Johnson Southern Miss
#7 Ruffin McNeil ECU
#8 Mike Price UTEP
#9 Tony Levine Houston
#10 David Bailiff Rice
#11 Justin Fuente Memphis
#12 Curtis Johnson
Conference USA Awards 2012
Offensive Player of the Year
Orleans Darkwa RB Tulane
Defensive Player of the Year
Dexter McCoil DB Tulsa
Coach of the Year
June Jones SMU
Offensive Freshman of the Year
Deontay Greenberry WR Houston
Defensive Freshman of the Year
Darion Monroe CB Tulane
2011 CUSA Final Standings
#1 Southern Miss
#3 East Carolina
My 2011 CUSA Predictions
#1 Central Florida-Wrong
#2 East Carolina-wrong
#3 Southern Miss-wrong
#1 Tulsa (C-USA Winner)-Wrong
How I ranked Using the Stassen Rating:
East: 14th out 14 with 11 points.
West: Tied for 11th out 14 with 6 points.
Conference USA Football Predictions 2012
Conference USA East Predictions 2012
Coach: George O'Leary
Returning Starters: 9; 3 offense, 6 defense
Stadium: Bright House Networks Stadium (45,301) 7th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Blake Bortles seized the moment when Godfrey couldn't get the job done at QB. The WR core is very talented and deep. J.J. Worton returns from a suspension that kept him out of play last season. Quincy McDuffie and Josh Reese return after a solid 2011 season. Freshman WR Breshad Perriman will look to splash on the scene and will get plenty of opportunities to make plays. Both Murray and Harvey return at RB. All the excitement surrounds RB Storm Johnson who transferred from Miami. The line returns two starters and one player with experience. Left tackle will be a position to keep an eye on in fall camp.
Defense: Six starters return from last year's defense that ranked 9th in the nation. The defensive end position is secured with Davis and Gray causing plenty of problems in the back field. The secondary is experienced with starters Bouye, Geathers, and Ishmael. Corner Josh Robinson is a loss, but a loss they should overcome. The linebacker positions will be filled with 2 seniors Jonathan Davis and Ray Shipman and Sophomore Terrance Plummer could be at middle LB.
Special Teams: Jamie Boyle will handle the punting duties. Moffit and Galvin will compete for the kicking job.
Overview: The Knights lost 6 games by a touchdown or less. Kicker may be the biggest issue for UCF. The running game should be over the 168 yards per game they had a year ago. Defensively they will be just as tough as last year's 9th rated defense. A tough non-conference schedule will have the Knights ready for C-USA play.
Coach: Doc Holliday
Returning Starters: 13; 8 offense, 5 defense
Stadium: Joan C. Edwards Stadium (38,019) 8th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: The offense ranked 102 in the nation last year. Sophomore QB Rakeem Cato should improve with experience and a more experienced WR group. Aaron Dobson who had 12 touchdowns returns at WR and is a NFL talent. The RB position is deep with potential for three guys to get a bulk of the carries. Both tackles will need to be replaced, but both guard positions and the center returns.
Defense: C-USA defensive player of the year Vin Curry will need to be replaced on the line. The line should provide more depth and could prove to be the strength of the defense. The secondary while young is entrenched with talent. D.J. Hunter would have started at safety last year as a freshman had he not got injured. Four star recruit A.J. Leggett could make an immediate impact at corner. The lone senior on the starting defense Devin Arrington is transitioning into playing linebacker.
Special Teams: The whole special teams will need to be replaced. Punter should be decided closer to the first game. Justin Haig should be the starting kicker.
Overview: The offense will need to improve as a whole. The defense should improve against the pass. Look for another trip to a bowl game. The game at home vs. Ohio should be a good game.
#3 Southern Miss
Coach: Ellis Johnson
Returning Starters: 11; 6 offense, 4 defense, punter
Stadium: Carlisle-Faulkner Filed at Roberts Stadium (36,000) 9th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Austin Davis will finally need to be replaced after a great career at Southern Miss. Chris Campbell will look to win the starting QB job. Ricky Lloyd and Anthony Alford will be his competition. Jamal Woodyard will not play this year and legal issues could keep him off the team for good. Desmond Johnson, Jeremy Hester, and Kendrick Hardy will compete for the running back position. WR's Sullivan and Lampley return which will help an inexperienced QB. The O-line is full of quality returning starters.
Defense: The defense only returns 4 starters. One of those starters is C-USA defensive player of the year candidate Jamie Collins. The secondary returns two starters, one of them CB Deron Wilson who intercepted four passes last year. Jerrion Johnson is the lone returning starter at LB.
Special Teams: Corey Acosta will replace Hrapmann at kicker. Peter Boehme will return at punter. Look for Lampley to make big plays returning punts and kicks.
Overview: The defense should be able to plug holes on the defense like they traditionally do. Despite losing their starting RB and QB, the Eagles should hold their own on offense. This year's team will have its speed bumps, but should still be in the top half of the east. Southern Miss. boasts an amazing non-conference home schedule season tickets should be selling fast.
#4 East Carolina
Coach: Ruffin McNeil
Returning Starters: 13; 6 offense, 7 defense
Stadium: Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium (50,000) 5th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Record setting do everything QB Dominque Davis is gone. Rio Johnson will be called upon to replace Davis. The WR position is deep and is led by sophomore Justin Hardy and senior Andrew Bodenheimer. Hardy led the team in receptions last season. The running back position is a problem once again. Bullock and Dobson will look to improve on a rushing attack that ranked 105 in the nation last season. Four starters return from a line that gave up 30 sacks a season ago.
Defense: The move to a 3-4 defense paid dividends and will continue to improve this year. LB Jeremy Grove returns after having 122 tackles a year ago. Safety should be a strength for the Pirates with Magazu returning and young talents Ivey and Thompson. The D-line will need to provide more pressure and they should. Justin Dixion, Lee Pegues, Micheal Brooks, and Matt Milner will man the defensive front.
Special Teams: The special teams play was awful a year ago and the position battles should be determined come week one.
Overview: The defense showed a big improvement last season. This year's team will need to work on forcing more turnovers after ranking 119 last year. The offense will need to get the ball to the WR, is Rio Johnson up for the job? One thing you have to love about ECU is the fan base. They pack Dowdy-Fickle Stadium every week.
Coach: Garrick McGee
Returning Starters: 11; 6 offense, 4 defense, kicker
Stadium: Legion Field (72,000) 2nd largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: The big question in Birmingham is how fast the O-line can come together. Only one starter returns and the rest of the group is unproven. QB Jonathan Perry is back after a decent 2011 campaign. He will need to cut down on his 8 interceptions he threw a year ago. WR is the strength of the team. Williams and Adams are returning starters and Nelson could emerge as a big play man with speed to burn. Junior Greg Franklin returns as the starting RB, but look for Bashr Coles to be the go to guy by the end of the year.
Defense: The D-line returns two starters, one being emerging play-maker Diaheem Watkins who made a big impression in the spring. The strength of the team resides at LB. Marvin Burdette could be the best to ever play LB at UAB. The senior backer has 249 tackles in his career. Greg Irivin is back after a solid 2011 season. The secondary could be a big issue for the Blazers with no returning starters a very little experience.
Special Teams: Ty Long had a solid freshman season. Hunter Mullins will be the punter for the Blazers.
Overview: To many issues on the O-line and secondary leave the Blazers searching for a bowl game once again. McGee is building excitement around town, but he will need more time.
Coach: Justin Fuente
Returning Starters: 10; 4 offense, 4 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Liberty Bowl Memorial (61,000) 3rd largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Starting QB Andy Summerlin was released leaving the Tigers bare at QB. Transfer Jacob Karam looks to be the starter, but production form this position remains a question mark. Another problem for the Tigers is RB. Three players Rhodes, Gibson, and Steib will look to improve a running game that didn't even average 90 yards a game a year ago. Sophomore WR Kevin Wright is the future of the team. Three starters return on a pretty good line.
Defense: Memphis gave up over 440 yards per game a year ago. The line will be a major issue with the graduation of Dontari Poe a first round draft pick. The linebackers are capable of making plays. The secondary was looking to finally improve until Taurean Nixon asked for his release.
Special Teams: Both kicker Paulo Henriques and punter Tom Hornsey return.
Overview: Too many holes on the team keeps the Tigers at the bottom of the CUSA and college football. Fuentes has his work cut out for him and will need to have a big recruiting classes the next few years.
Conference USA West Predictions 2012
Coach: June Jones
Returning Starters: 11; 3 offense, 7 defense, kicker
Stadium: Gerald J. Ford (32,000) 10th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Texas transfer Garrett Gilbert will be under center for the Mustangs. He will need to work on his decision making after having 17 interceptions for Texas. Gilbert could be under pressure a lot with the whole line graduating. Senior Zach Line C-USA leading rusher for the past two seasons returns. Senior Darius Johnson will be a go to target for Gilbert.
Defense: The defense returns seven starters. Up front NG Torian Pittman returns and DE Margus Hunt. The strength of the team is LB where All C-USA team members Davis and Reed dominate. Kenneth Acker and Ryan Smith return in the secondary that will look to improve a bit on stopping the pass.
Special Teams: Walk-on Chase Hover returns at kicker. Mike Loftus seems to be the likely starter at punter.
Overview: SMU will have a favorable schedule with Houston and Tulsa at home. Gilbert will need to improve on his accuracy and the O-line must come together. The defensive will be one of the best in C-USA.
Coach: Tony Levine
Returning Starters: 14; 5 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: John O'Quinn field at Robertson Stadium (32,000) 11th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: The running game could be featured more than ever with RB Charles Sims returning after running for over 800 yards and 575 yards receiving. The passing attack will likely see a step back with Case Keenum and receivers Patrick Edwards and Tyrone Carrier gone from the program. QB Piland is a suitable replacement as he has started 8 games in his career. With no returning WR with wealth of experience look for freshman Deontay Greenberry to make an immediate impact for the Cougars. Four of five starters return on a strong O-line.
Defense: LB Derrick Mathews had an amazing freshman season with 106 tackles last season. The line looks good with Braswell and Miller on one side, but the other side needs work and will be decided in fall camp. D.J. Hayden had a solid season at corner a year ago. He will be joined by two other returning starters Zach McMillian and Kent Brooks.
Special Teams: Matt Hogan returns at kicker and is reliable. Ray Guy semifinalist Richie Leone is back at punter.
Overview: Plenty of departures on offense may slow the Cougars down at first, but with an experienced line expect Houston to contend in the West. The defense will switch to a 4-3 which should help them defend the run after giving up 171 yards a game a year ago. WR Greenberry should be a fan favorite by the end of the year.
Coach: Bill Blakenship
Returning Starters: 14; 6 offense, 7 defense, punter
Stadium: H.A Chapman Stadium (30,000) 12th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Tulsa will need to find a replacement for 3 year starter G.J Kinne. Cody Greene seems to be the player to take over though Kalen Henderson could see some snaps throughout the season. The line has several holes and the left side is a big question mark. The backfield will get a lot of carries and Ja'Terian Douglas and Trey Watts both went for over 800 yards last season. Green will have a talented group to throw the ball to with Willie Carter and Bryan Burnham who caught 16 TD's last season.
Defense: The secondary is as strong as ever, led by ball hawking safety Dexter McCoil who has 13 career interceptions. Marco Nelson and John Flanders join McCoil in the secondary. The defensive line is deep and returns 3 starters. The good news at LB Shawn Jackson returns, bad news MLB Curnelius Arnick is gone.
Special Teams: The kicking duties are handed to freshman Daniel Schwarz. Cole Way returns at punter.
Overview: Offensive line is a big question mark. Cody Green could be the answer at QB. The defense could be the best in a long time. The Golden Hurricane's will make another bowl game.
Coach: Curtis Johnson
Returning Starters: 13; 6 offense, 5 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Superdome (72,203) largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Orleans Darkwa will make a name for himself outside of the CUSA this year. He is poised for a big year after being injured last season and still rushing for over 900 yards. QB Ryan Griffin is in his final year at Tulane and will need to make a lasting impression. A key will be cutting down on his 10 interceptions. A WR receiver needs to step up as a true play-maker. The O-line has holes and the left side of the line poses big problems.
Defense: The D-line like the O-line has big problems. Only one starter returns on the line and it's very thin. LB Trent Mackey was a favorite for defensive player of the year, now he is suspended from the team. The LB core returns two players, but the loss of Mackey will hurt the Green Wave. The secondary could be solid with the addition of talented freshman Darlon Monroe and two returning starters.
Special Teams: Cairo Santos will return at kicker. Junior Jonathan Ginsburgh will hold down the punting duties.
Overview: While the offense has some question marks, Orleans Darkwa is back. QB Ryan Griffin should have a good year. The defensive front will need to find some answers to provide pressure up front. This will be the year the Green Wave makes a bowl.
Coach: Mike Price
Returning Starters: 13; 7 offense, 4 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Sun Bowl (51,500) 4th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: Four starters return on the O-line. Last year's team was run heavy. Things will change this season with the three leading rusher gone. The RB position is very thin and inexperienced. QB Nick Lamaison will be called upon to lead the offense. He will turn to senior Micheal Edwards and sophomore Jordan Leslie to be the play-makers at WR.
Defense: The defense will need to make vast improvements if the Miners want to rise in the standings. Only four starters return from last year's team and Jamie Irving that started in 2010 returns from injury. Irving will be the only returning starter at the LB and will make a big difference in stopping the run. The line has two pretty good players returning, but will need to find two more players to assists them. Grayson and Thomas return in the secondary, but will need to find replacements for Nixon and Blake.
Special Teams: Punter Ian Campbell is back at punter and will be a leading candidate for the Ray Guy award. Dakota Warren is the returning starter at kicker.
Overview: The defense can't stop the run or pass. The offense will have to lean more on their passing attack this season. The Miners open with a big home game vs. Oklahoma. The Miners find themselves out of a bowl game with a tough non-conference schedule.
Coach: David Bailiff
Returning Starters: 11; 5 offense, 5 defense, kicker
Stadium: Rice Stadium (47,000) 6th largest stadium in C-USA
Offense: QB Taylor McHargue will be back under center for another year. He only has 5 wins in his career. If he falters look for freshman Driphus Jackson to get the nod. McHargue will have plenty of targets at WR. Sam McGuffie is a play-maker, Vance McDonald returns after a good 2011 season with 43 catches, and Donte Moore returns as a starter. Two weakness for the Owls; the o-line returns one starter and two the running attack is unproven.
Defense: The Owls will return 5 starters and 3 more players that were starters, but missed most of 2011 season with an injury. Sophomore corner Bryce Callahan had a great freshman year with 6 interceptions. Cameron Nwosu is back at LB and look for Alex Lyons to play a role at LB this season. The line need to put more pressure on the QB in order to cut down on the 278 yards that Rice gave up through the air last season.
Special Teams: The punting job could be handed over to freshman James Farrimond. Chris Boswell could be Rice's best kicker in school history.
Overview: The Owls have question at QB, RB, and O-line. The defense needs a big improvement in stopping the pass. This looks to be a rough year in Houston. The Owls open up at home vs. UCLA.
Conference USA Football Games To Watch 2012
Louisville @ Southern Miss Saturday, Sept 29
Boise St. @ Southern Miss Saturday, Oct 6
Ohio @ Marshall Saturday, Sept 15
UCF @ Marshall Saturday, Oct 27
ECU @ Southern Miss Saturday, Sept 8
Memphis @ UAB Saturday, Nov 17
FIU @ UCF Saturday, Sept 15
Missouri @ UCF Saturday, Sept 29
Houston @ UCLA Saturday, Spet 15
Houston @ SMU Saturday, Oct 20
Tulsa @ Houston Saturday, Nov 10
Texas A&M @ SMU Saturday, Sept 15
TCU @ SMU Saturday, Sept 29
UCLA @ Rice Thursday, Aug 30
Rice @ UTEP Saturday, Nov 24
Oklahoma @ UTEP Saturday, Sept 1
Rutgers @ Tulane Saturday, Sept 1
Ole Miss @ Tulane Saturday, Sept 22
SMU @ Tulane Saturday, Oct 13