Earlier we wrote about the missed opportunity that was the Mean Green and Rice Owls both losing to in-town rivals. That was disappointing for the league but seeing the reigning champion get dismantled on ESPN2 was not fun for UAB fans either. You cannot get ripped on national television and not drop a bit, even if it was plenty understandable.
Elsewhere UTEP showed us they are who we thought they were, a bunch of teams beat up on FCS squads, including UTSA blanking a squad for the first time in their history. Two teams we liked as dark horse teams — USM and FAU — both impressed. We will now rank the teams, as determined by our proprietary formula that is only known in the farthest reaches of the southernmost United States.
1. Marshall 0-0, 2-0
The Herd started slowly but impressed late. NC Central is not an impressive squad but the Herd have not really dropped off from the early season 2020 version of themselves. If Charles Huff can do that for watch he was hired: win big games and not fall apart when it matters, the Herd have a real shot at being champions of this league.
Next up: vs ECU 5pm on Facebook
2. UTSA 0-0, 2-0
Lamar is everyone’s favorite team to set records against and it happened here. UTSA was in pick-your-score mode which is fine and all but we didn’t learn too much about the Runners in this one.
Next up: vs Middle 5pm ESPN+
3. UAB 0-0, 1-1
Again, losing to Georgia is not unsurprising. Losing so badly, and looking so poor, is demoralizing for everyone. For UAB, as it shows how far they are from being competitive nationally, and their fans, as it becomes less fun to imagine the role their team would play in some of those conversations and for the rest of the league as they are still clearly second-best to UAB in a lot of categories. How bad would everyone else be beat if UAB cannot hang?
Next up: at North Texas at 6:30pm on Stadium
4. Charlotte 0-0, 2-0
The 49ers beat Gardner-Webb 38-10 and that is not super special, but it was nice to follow up a program-defining win over Duke with another victory. This is momentum, folks.
Next up: at Georgia St ESPN+ at 6pm
5. FAU 0-0, 1-1
Last week, FAU had the misfortune of getting beat down vs a highly ranked opponent. This week they impressed against a tough Georgia Southern squad on the way to a 38-6 win. We can think they should have done a little more vs Florida while also acknowledging that they can get better and CUSA is very wide-open.
Next up: vs Fordham 5pm ESPN3
6. La Tech 0-0, 1-1
The Dawgs won! And it was a great escape vs SE Louisiana 45-42. Entertainment aside, we would be pretty disappointed if we didn’t see them have a 20-point lead vs MSST last week. It is starting to look like Tech will be a team that just plays close games all season no matter who they play. That means must-watch football, but it also is bad news for Dawg fans with heart conditions.
Next up: vs SMU CBSSN at 2:30pm
7. WKU 0-0, 1-1
Bailey Zappe has been as advertised and that is a lot of fun. WKU’s defense has not been as good, and that is not great. The break should help everyone get their bearings.
Next up: Bye
8. USM 0-0, 1-1
South ‘Bama put a whooping on them. USM responded with a nice win over Grambling State. We are a little more forgiving of their inconsistency because Will Hall is a new coach.
Next up: vs Troy on ESPN+ at 6pm
9. North Texas 0-0, 1-1
The defense was surprisingly stout for three quarters, but ultimately allowed 500 yards and 35 points, which is about what everyone figured would happen. NT’s offense also put up 500 yards but only scored 12.
Next up: vs UAB on Stadium at 6:30pm
10. Rice 0-0, 0-2
Next up: at Texas on Longhorn Network 7pm
11. FIU 0-0, 1-1
Texas State is okay. Losing at home in OT is not okay.
Next up: at Texas Tech on ESPN+ at 6pm
12. MTSU 0-0, 1-1
Middle got handled by 19th ranked Va Tech and didn’t really change anyone’s opinion of them.
Next up: at UTSA on ESPN+ at 5pm
13. ODU 0-0, 1-1
A morale-boosting win! Getting a nice blowout over Hampton 47-7 is not going to impress anyone nationally, but it was a nice fun win for the home crowd which is necessary for the community.
Next up: at Liberty on ESPN3 at 5pm
14. UTEP 0-0, 2-1
The Miners got stomped by Boise St and did not look good in so doing. We thought their wins were weak and unimpressive and that was confirmed for at least one night.
Next up: Bye