Houston, Rice, SMU finish behind Golden Hurricane.
Despite losing Saturday's season finale to SMU, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane handily won Conference USA West, finishing with a 7-1 conference record and 9-3 overall mark. This is Tulsa's first division title since 2008, and fourth since Conference USA split into two divisions in 2005. SMU finished second in the division at 5-3 in conference play and 6-6 overall by virtue of Saturday's upset win. Rice and Houston both finished 4-4 in league play, good enough for third and fourth in the division. UTEP and Tulane round out the West Division standings at 2-6 in conference games.
Unlike Tulsa, Central Florida needed a win on the last day of the season to cement their division title. The Knights entered Saturday tied with East Carolina atop Conference USA East, but in possession of the tiebreaker by virtue of a 40-20 win over the Pirates on October 4. Marshall and Memphis each finished 4-4 in conference play, though neither gained the six wins needed for bowl eligibility. Alabama-Birmingham's 2-6 conference record was good enough for fifth, while the defending conference champion, Southern Miss, went winless in 2012.
The conference championship game kicks off at 11:00 a.m. CT Saturday on ESPN2.