1 Houston(5-1, 1-1) - They did their job and beat an SEC team to wrap up a 4-0 out-of-conference record and are currently ranked. This team is 1-1 in conference, where it really counts. Interesting fact: If you only include C-USA records, Houston is 8th place in the conference. They now begin a tough stretch which will determine their season including: SMU, USM, @TU & @UCF. The season will end with 2 "gimme" home games vs Memphis & Rice (although Houston proved capable of losing to anyone @ UTEP).
2 Tulsa(4-2, 2-0) - Despite any criticisms, this team remains #1 in C-USA play with a 2-0 conference record & 4-2 overall record. In C-USA, this team is #1 in scoring defense & total defense. Tulsa proved they can compete with elite teams as they were driving down the field down 7 in the final minutes against #5 Boise State. Now they face a "daunting" test which Houston failed: win @ UTEP. Then, like Houston, they will begin a tough 4-game stretch which includes SMU, Houston, ECU & @USM. After UTEP, they'll have 4 home games left and only 1 away.
3 ECU (4-3, 3-1) - A close loss at SMU is not as bad as it may sound. Despite another loss, this team is the favorite to win the East. This team will be 5-3 before Virginia Tech comes to town. They showed they are still in it to win it with a dominating performance vs Rice. Barring drastic changes, this team should finish 7-5 or 8-4 and should win the East again.
4 Marshall (4-3, 2-1) - This team is gaining respect as held on with WVU until the 4th quarter, only down 10-7. Most of their games have been unimpressive, but they've won most. They have a decent looking record at the moment, but there is no reason to put them above ECU as they probably won't win the East. Unless this team improves drastically, they'll be fortunate to finish around the 6-6 or 7-5.
5 UCF(4-3, 1-2)- They lost to ECU and So Miss, but they did play USM at their best. Miami game wasn't as bad as it could've been. This team has a great D, but their O can't keep up. Games vs Marshall, @Texas and vs Houston are coming up. This team is another which will be fortunate to finish 7-5. When your O can't score, it often doesn't matter how good your D is.
6 SMU (3-3, 2-0) - SMU may be for real, but they are the only team who has lost Washington State this year. A 'W' over ECU was huge. Taking Navy into OT showed that this team can play with tough teams. This team is 2-0 in C-USA, but only 3-2 overall. If they keep winning they could jump to #1 in the West (where SMU is currently #2). Critical games @Houston and @Tulsa are next.
7 So Miss(4-3, 2-1) - The new starting QB did well @ Louisville and against Memphis. If USM is to have a chance at winning the East, the defense must start stepping up in critical situations. Is this team rebounding, or did they just start the easiest 4-game-streak on their schedule 1-2? Tulane is the 4th. Win it and work out any kinks before Houston.
8 UAB(2-4, 2-1) - Their conference record keeps them in the East title race, along with ECU, Marshall & USM. They probably need to win out to win, but you never know, the East winner will likely have 2 conference losses.
9 UTEP (2-4, 1-1) - So they probably aren't a good overall team. Maybe they are only decent at home. They can stir up trouble vs Tulsa. Like, UAB, this team is still alive in their divisional title race. Sure it would take a lot of miracle wins, but they've already pulled off one great win. What's another 6? Problem is they have 3 home and 3 away left. This team is looking like they'll finish about like last year, at 5-7.
10 Tulane (2-4, 0-3) - Have they won all the games they will this year? They beat Army. They do have UTEP and Rice on the schedule. Houston is coming to town followed by So Miss (which could be winnable) and then LSU (not winnable).
11 Memphis (2-5, 1-3) - Their resume includes beating Tenn-Martin and beating the team that beat Houston... awesome.
12 Rice (0-7, 0-3) - No change here.