Middle plays Iowa, and North Texas plays Houston but the highest scoring team in the league plays the one-time champion and offensive mastermind in Lane Kiffin.
UAB and WKU will battle in an East-West matchup that is really north-south in geography. Tech and Rice will battle, and so will USM and UTEP. Let’s look at the schedule so you can plan your day.
Middle at Iowa 11am CT ESPN2
Iowa is ranked 14th and is favored by 23.5. There is not much to learn from these kinds of games for Middle at this point. They are retooling their program this season.
FAU at Charlotte 2:30pm CT NFLN
This is the conference opener for both squads. Charlotte won the last time these two teams played, but that did not help the since-fired Brad Lambert. FAU played Wagner, and QB Chris Robison and Deangelo Antoine set some records. Charlotte played Clemson, and lost badly. We will perhaps learn something about a schedule’s impact. We will also see how real both of these teams are. Charlotte are a point favorites, probably because they are going to wear some sweet throwback helmets.
Cincinnati at Marshall 4pm CT CBSN on FB
Marshall escaped Ohio two weeks ago. This will be another tough matchup. Look to see if the Idle week was good for helping the offense. Marshall are four-point dogs.
ECU at ODU 5pm CT ESPN+
Old Dominion is favored by three, on the strength of being at home and the quality of their play recently. ODU has been up-and-down. Last season there was a epic finish that involved ODU being on the screwier end.
Louisiana Tech at Rice 5pm CT ESPN3
This big West division matchup will tell us much about Rice’s program. Injuries and tough competition give us all a good impression of Bloomgren’s group, but that has not translated to the ‘W’ column. Tech, meanwhile, has a reputation of losing or playing tougher-than-should-be games. This is one of those types of matchups. Tech is favored by 9.
UTEP at Southern Miss 5pm CT ESPN+
UTEP has no offense right now, and are reliant upon the run game. Southern Miss is explosive, filled with playmakers, and a fairly stout defense. That is why USM is favored by 27 in this west division matchup.
UAB at WKU 5pm CT ESPN+
This is a big game because it is a league game. In a perfect world, this might be a division game as well. These two last played an epic in 2014, but then is then and now is now. UAB are the defending champions and WKU is trying to adjust to a new QB, a new coaching staff, and a new season. They are only 3-point dogs to the Blazers however. Interesting.
Houston at North Texas 6pm CT CBSN on FB
Houston QB D’Eriq King is redshirting and that made national headlines this week. NT is coming off a complete performance against hapless UTSA. NT caught a break as their young defense has it much easier. NT’s offense has an identity now, in running back Tre Siggers. NT is favored by 7.5