Conference USA making case for toughest Group of Five conference


Conference bragging rights have always been something to take pride in, but it may never have held so much value as it will this season in college football. While much attention is being given to the decreasing value and perception of the Big Ten, Conference USA seems to be quietly building its case for top Group of Five conference. With one guaranteed bowl spot reserved for the highest ranked Group of Five conference champion, that matters significantly.

Conference USA teams have gone through the first two weeks of the season stringing together a 7-0 record against the other Group of Five conferences. That includes Western Kentucky topping defending MAC champion and preseason favorite Bowling Green and Louisiana Tech’s road victory against one of the top Sun Belt programs, Louisiana-Lafayette. UTSA scored another big win with a week one blowout at Houston and followed that up with an admirable performance against Arizona on national television last week.

Conference USA lacks victories against the power conferences though, which would help make the case even stronger for Conference USA. Fortunately for the conference, none of the Group of Five conferences have managed to impress in their biggest opportunities. Using my own little formula to weigh non-conference results based on strength of schedule, Conference USA is leading the American Athletic Conference, MAC, Mountain West Conference, and Sun Belt. Conference USA is even ahead of the Big Ten and Big 12 early on, although result in head-to-head competition against those power conferences have not gone Conference USA’s way.

Conference USA looks to still be a conference developing talent and programs and is more fo a long-term project compared to some of the other conferences like the Mountain West or American, but this is certainly a great way to get started in the new era of the College Football Playoff.