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Conference USA Betting – Can Cougars Regain C-USA Supremacy?

Posted by Blake Frazier on 8/23/2010 8:33:33 AM
conference usa betting

If you like fireworks on a football field, sit back and watch the sparks – and also the passes – fly in 2010.

The East Carolina Pirates won each of the last two Conference USA championships, using a mixture of rugged defense and balanced offense. While Tulsa (2008) and Houston (2009) won the C-USA West Division thanks to ultra-potent passing attacks, ECU defused those two offenses and proved itself to be a far more complete team in the eyes of online betting number-crunchers. Now, however, the Pirates are without the man who made their program hum. Former coach Skip Holtz is now the main man at South Florida, with former Texas Tech defensive coordinator Ruffin McNeill now piloting the Pirates. We’ll see if ECU can remain on top in C-USA, or if someone else can claim the crown. All in all, the diminishment of ECU – a defense-first program – means that offense-based teams should thrive even more.

Team On The Rise:

The team that will play above its expectations is based in Orlando, Florida. The Central Florida Golden Knights get Southern Miss and East Carolina at home, and with the rest of C-USA’s East Division not figuring to make a run at the flag, the Knights will be happy to make their in-division road trips to Marshall and Memphis. UCF also gets a road game at West Division tomato can Tulane, which is a nice break for coach George O’Leary’s club, since it’s always advantageous to get favorable matchups away from home and tougher matchups on one’s own turf. The schedule maker set things up beautifully for the Golden Knights, who will edge Southern Miss for the East title.

Team On The Decline:

The team that’s almost certain to take a tumble in the C-USA pecking order is the team that’s won the league the last two years. East Carolina lost not only its coach, but a lot of its defense. The Pirates return only three starters on the defensive side of the ball, and they’re not exactly loaded on offense. Just five starters return on ECU’s offense, which will need to break in a brand-new quarterback. The Pirates won’t be a bad team in 2010, but when you’ve ruled the roost for two years, anything less than a division title represents a significant decline.

Best Player In The Conference:

Houston quarterback Case Keenum. The gunslinger under center produced many smiles throughout the Houston area when he chose to return for yet another season as a Cougar. Last year, Keenum almost singlehandedly enabled UH to be competitive on a national level, as coach Kevin Sumlin’s kids won at Oklahoma State and then bumped off Texas Tech at home. It’s truly no big deal for Keenum to exceed 500 yards passing in a game – he did the deed more than once in 2009. NCAA football betting analysts will expect very high over-unders and point spreads in a lot of Houston’s 2010 games.

Who Will Win Conference USA:

To identify the league’s favorite, go to the sprawling metropolis of Houston. With Keenum at quarterback, sports betting gurus would not contest the claim that the Cougars’ offense will be far ahead of the rest of Conference USA.

Last year, the Cougars won two huge non-conference games but slipped in the league. Because of a shocking road loss at UTEP, Houston had to play the conference title game (hosted by the team with the best conference record) at East Carolina, and that reality certainly hurt Sumlin’s squad, which lost to the Pirates by a 38-32 count. This year, Houston should focus better in conference games and play the C-USA title tilt on home turf. The Cougars – who won C-USA in 2006 – will regain league supremacy in 2010.



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