Here's a quick jaunt down the Conference USA schedule as we go into the final week of the season:
Houston will have to win this game to become bowl eligible. Texas Tech not only has a stinging 29-28 loss from last year to motivate it, but also bowl position of it's own as it can maneuver up to 7 wins. Can David Piland work enough magic to keep the destructive defense from losing this game?
Neither team has anything left to play for but pride at this point. UAB receiver Frantrell Forrest has a much cooler name than any of the Rice players, but Sam McGuffie and company could at least end the season on a high note if they can run over UAB and East Carolina in back-to-back games.
Memphis picked the wrong opponent to try and avoid taking the donut in conference play against. The Knights only need to win this game to cement themselves as CUSA East champions. Coming off a 61-14 pasting of Tulane, and with Memphis having been blown out by every moderately good team on it's schedule, I'm starting to think 25.5 is too low.
SMU has the tiebreaker over Tulsa in the CUSA West, but will need a win to guarantee it's spot in the championship game. East Carolina is barely bowl eligible as a 6-5 CUSA team, and that seventh win would really improve it's resume. Not to mention put them in position to take the CUSA East if UCF somehow lost to Memphis.
Despite tying for the best record in CUSA up to this point, Southern Miss likely finds it's path to the championship game blocked by UCF. However, they could still improve their bowl resume by finishing 9-3, and a win on the road in Tulsa against a fellow eight win team would do the trick. Tulsa, on the other hand, would win CUSA West if SMU faltered and they won this game, so they might also have some motivation, you'd think. And look, not a single golden shower joke from me.
Much like Rice-UAB, neither of these teams are bowl eligible no matter what they do, and they're simply playing out the string. Orleans Darkwa leads a solid Tulane rushing attack, but Marshall actually has experience playing ranked teams this year, something Tulane can't say.