C-USA Football Conference Odds - NCAA Betting Lines

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C-USA Football Conference Odds

C-USA Football Conference Odds

A quick peek at the C-USA title odds let’s college football bettors know the conference is entirely up for grabs with nearly half of the 14 team league possessing return on investments at 8-1 or shorter. Florida Atlantic and North Texas are the current frontrunners with Lane Kiffin’s and Seth Littrell’s kids each offering up +400 returns. Right in back of them are Southern Mississippi (+450), Florida International (+500), Marshall (+500) and Louisiana Tech (+800). It truly is a flip of the coin from there with Middle Tennessee State, UAB and Western Kentucky needing to replace integral parts from last year’s teams, or will be undergoing schematic changes with new coaching staffs in place. Either way, the action is certain to be fast and furious at online sportsbooks which is something that’s been the “MO” of Conference USA since its inception.

C-USA Championship Betting Odds

Florida Atlantic +400

North Texas +400

Southern Mississippi +450

Florida International +450

Marshall +500

Louisiana Tech +800

Middle Tennessee State +1200

UAB +1200

Western Kentucky +4000

Charlotte +6600

Old Dominion +6600

Rice +10000

UTSA +12500

UTEP +20000

A week removed from getting bludgeoned 27-3 in Murfreesboro by Middle Tennessee State, UAB circled the wagons and went on to secure its first C-USA title since returning to the conference by defeating the Blue Raiders 27-25 as 1.5-point underdogs the following week in the title game. It then went on to smear Northern Illinois in the Boca Raton Bowl to put the cheery on top of what ended up being one heck of a season-long sundae.

Unfortunately, the defending C-USA champs don’t figure to make much hay in the conference in 2019-20 with some massive personnel losses incurred regardless of quarterback Tyler Johnston and running back Spencer Brown back in the mix.

Fresh off throwing for nearly 3,800 yards and a 27:5 TD/INT ratio, Mason Fine will be back under center for the North Texas Mean Green and that only means good things are once again in store for a North Texas team that won nine games regardless of it capping off the season with an ugly 52-13 loss to a determined Utah State squad in the New Mexico Bowl. Fine enters the 2019-20 season already UNT’s all-time passer and the NCAA’s active career leader with over 9,400 passing yards.

He gets a loaded running back and wide receiver corps to work with this season, but the team’s ability to represent the West Division in the title game will ultimately hinge on a defense that loses all of its defensive studs. The road game at Louisiana Tech and home game against UAB will go a long way in deciding their fate.

While North Texas looks to be the cream of the West crop, the East Division is an entirely different story. Marshall looks to be loaded on the offensive side of the ball with a veteran-laden offensive line and solid 1-2 punch out of the backfield in Tyler King and Brenden Knox. For it to all come together, quarterback Isaiah Green will need to become consistent under center in hopes of improving upon his pedestrian 15:10 TD/INT ratio from a season ago.

If not, the Thundering Herd are going to have a tough time living up to expectations as inexperienced new defensive coordinator Brad Lambert’s front seven looks to be. Thankfully, the secondary isn’t nearly as green with four-year starting cornerback Chris Jackson locking down opposing team’s best pass catchers. Those betting on Marshall’s games will get a good idea of exactly what this team is out of the gates with games scheduled to go against Boise State, Ohio and Cincinnati right of out the chute.

While Middle Tennessee is always a threat with Kevin Stockstill at the helm and FIU took some solid steps forward a season ago by winning nine games which included a thrilling 35-32 Bahamas Bowl win over Toledo, it’s tough to envision either ultimately giving the Thundering Herd a run for their money. In the end, look for the exciting offenses of North Texas and Marshall to collide in the 15th installment of the Conference USA Championship Game.

C-USA Football Format

The league certainly has lived up to its name since forming in 1996. Thanks to conference realignment by the Power 5 in the 2000s, C-USA got picked apart. Of its 14 current members, only Southern Mississippi has been there for the duration. The league has never had more than 14 teams in any given season, but during its two-decade existence, 24 schools have played at least one season in C-USA!

The return of UAB brings the league’s football playing teams in 2017 to an even number, which makes for easier scheduling. The league will consist of two seven-team divisions, the East and West.

Each team will play every one of its division opponents for a total of six games. There will also be two cross-over games with opponents from the opposite division. In all a total of eight conference games will be played by every team.

The two division winners will meet in the C-USA title game to determine the league’s champion. The game has been held every year since 2005 at the venue of the team with the highest overall conference winning percentage. C-USA has agreements with 12 bowl games for 2019 with the conference guaranteed to play in at least five of them. Among them are the Arizona Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl, Bahamas Bowl, Boca Raton Bowl, First Responder Bowl, Frisco Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Independence Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl, New Mexico Bowl, New Orleans Bowl, and Gasparilla Bowl. There is no selection order for the bowl-eligible teams.

List of C-USA Champions

SEASON CHAMPIONS EAST WEST
2018 UAB Middle Tennessee UAB
2017 Florida Atlantic Florida Atlantic North Texas
2016 Western Kentucky Western Kentucky Louisiana Tech
2015 Western Kentucky Western Kentucky Southern Miss
2014 Marshall Marshall Louisiana Tech
2013 Rice Marshall Rice
2012 Tulsa Central Florida Tulsa
2011 Southern Miss Southern Miss Houston
2010 Central Florida Central Florida SMU
2009 East Carolina East Carolina Houston
2008 East Carolina East Carolina Tulsa
2007 Central Florida Central Florida Tulsa
2006 Houston Southern Miss Houston
2005 Tulsa Central Florida Tulsa
2004 Louisville N/A N/A
2003 Southern Miss N/A N/A
2002 TCU/Cincinnati N/A N/A
2001 Louisville N/A N/A
2000 Louisville N/A N/A
1999 Southern Miss N/A N/A
1998 Tulane N/A N/A
1997 Southern Miss N/A N/A
1996 Houston/Southern Miss N/A N/A

Conference USA has undergone some radical changes in its relatively short existence. The league began play in 1996 with six teams and only Southern Miss remains from the original members. The league had grown to 11 teams by 2004 but was overhauled for the 2005 season. The Big East cherry-picked the league to restock its football playing schools and C-USA was forced to raid other leagues.

The addition of six new teams in 2005 split the league into two six-team divisions and the first C-USA Championship game was played that year. Tulsa and Central Florida, two of the newest members, played in the inaugural contest with the Golden Hurricanes winning the first of their two C-USA titles. By 2014 both those schools had moved on to the American Athletic Conference.

Six new teams joined in 2013 to offset losses to the AAC. Western Kentucky came aboard in 2014, Charlotte upgraded its program in 2015 and UAB raised its football program back from the ashes in 2017. If you followed all that, it amounts to a current 14-team conference with more than half the teams joining since 2013. WKU had limited success in its brief stay in the Sun Belt Conference, but went on to win successive C-USA titles from 2015-16. No school has ever won the conference three straight times with the Hilltoppers and East Carolina Pirates coming closest.

Most C-USA Conference Championships

WINS TEAM LAST WON
5 Southern Miss 2011
3 Louisville * 2004
2 Central Florida * 2010
2 East Carolina * 2009
2 Houston * 2006
2 Tulsa * 2012
2 Western Kentucky 2016
1 Cincinnati * 2002
1 Marshall 2014
1 Rice 2013
1 TCU * 2002
1 Tulane * 1998
1 Alabama-Birmingham ---
0 Charlotte ---
1 Florida Atlantic ---
0 Florida International ---
0 Louisiana Tech ---
0 Middle Tennessee ---
0 North Texas ---
0 Old Dominion ---
0 Texas-El Paso ---
0 Texas-San Antonio ---

The league has undergone so many changes that only six current members have won a C-USA championship. Southern Miss is the only team to be around since the beginning and the Golden Eagles have claimed a record five. The next closest of the current teams is Western Kentucky who owns a pair.

WKU and UAB are the only two of 10 teams that joined the league since 2013 to win a division title and a league championship. Marshall and Rice joined in 2005 and each has won league title. UTEP joined at the same time and has yet to win anything. The numbers will be skewed for some time with the amount of turnover among members the highest of any of the FBS conferences.

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