2020 Football Preview – Conference USA Handicapping
Looking for 2020 Conference USA Predictions? Florida Atlantic won Conference USA last season and is the favorite coming into this year even though controversial coach Lane Kiffin has moved on. This league can be pretty unpredictable but they are definitely the team you have to look at first.
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UAB has played in the last two championship games and it would not be a shock if they were there again this year. They do it more with defense than most programs in the league and head coach Bill Clark is not likely to change things up this year, which could be a good thing.
There are five teams with odds of +650 or better so it looks like there will be some good competition in the league this season. I am not sure any team is going to be nationally relevant but internal competition at the top of each division should be pretty good.
Western Kentucky could be an interesting wild card this year. They had the best defense in the league a year ago and if that holds they should win some games.
2020 Conference USA Predictions: Florida Atlantic +250
Willie Taggart’s run at Florida State was not a success. However, it looks like he has inherited a pretty good situation in Boca.
Lane Kiffin might have got out when the going was good but the cupboard if not bare. QB Chris Robison might be the best in the league this season and Malcolm Davidson looks a lot like former Owl running back Devin Singletary, who gouged the NFL last season.
Jim Leavitt is one of the best collegiate defensive minds and Taggart reunites with him this season. The defense has enough athletes and experience to run whatever Leavitt wants and the Owls should be able to control the clock on offense too. I am not sure the Owls should be the lowest odds but there is no doubt they are in the mix, even with Kiffin moved on to the SEC.
2020 Conference USA Predictions: Louisiana Tech +300
Skip Holtz is having success at Louisiana Tech. He was 4-8 in year one but since then has not won fewer than 7 games in a season. He has also won bowl games in six straight seasons.
The question for this season is how much program building has really taken place at the Bulldogs will be looking to replace a very experienced quarterback and a lot on defense. Continuity could help on offense as they promoted form within at the OC position and both starting options at QB were in the program last year. The talent is there to make whoever wins the job look good.
Louisiana Tech has some real talent on the edges of its defense but it may be soft in the middle. They have had a lot of turnover at the coordinator position and hope the new DC, brought in from CUSA rival Old Dominion can do the trick. For this defense to be good again they are going to need to be very disruptive. With all of the new faces they might struggle to just line up and scheme, especially this season.
2020 Conference USA Predictions: UAB +450
The resurrection of UAB football is one of the most interesting stories in the game, it should probably get more attention than it does to be honest. Coach Bill Clark has produced sound defenses and coupled them with offenses that do just enough to win.
After back to back title game appearances the Blazers look like they could be a little more balanced this season. They should have a very strong defense but there is optimism around the play of QB Tyler Johnston III and receivers Austin Watkins Jr and Myron Mitchell. If the offense is good enough to give the defense a game or two “off” the Blazers could definitely best Louisiana Tech to take the West Division.
2020 Conference USA Predictions: Marshall +600
I can make the case that Marshall is the best brand in the conference. Doc Holliday became head coach in 2010 and they have had only three losing seasons since. They were 8-5 a season ago.
More success this season is going to be contingent on more offense. Last season the group really struggled to put points on the board. With Isaiah Green returning in the pivot there is a great chance to improve offensive efficiency and reduce turnovers. Running back Brenden Knox was great as a sophomore, running for more than 1300 yards. Het let’s them control the game when they want to.
The defense bailed out the offense a lot last season. There is talent on this side of the ball but they are slight upfront and linebacker Tavante Beckett can’t do everything. The strength of the defense should be the secondary. Marshall usually has one of the best defenses in the league and even though there are some questions right now that probably will be the case.
2020 Conference USA Futures Betting Odds
- Florida Atlantic +250
- Louisiana Tech +300
- UAB +450
- Marshall +600
- Southern Miss +650
- Florida International +1000
- Western Kentucky +1400
- North Texas +2000
- Middle Tennessee +2800
- UTSA +3300
- Charlotte +4000
- Rice +5000
- UTEP +10000
- Old Dominion +10000
2020 Conference USA Predictions: UAB (Bet Now at any of our Reviewed Online Sportsbooks!)
In Conference USA there is rarely a dominant team, winners sure, but not the type where it is a slam dunk to win the division and get to the title game.
I like UAB even though regression might say a third straight trip to the title game could be a reach. They have experience and Bill Clark might be the best coach in the conference right now. It is hard to find a weakness there.
Southern Miss did not make the top four in odds and are not previewed in more detail above. If you look at the numbers though you can see that they are not far from that top pack. Jack Abraham is a very good quarterback and even though they are breaking in a new offensive coordinator their offense is going to be good enough to keep them in most games. They are not a terrible pay at +650.
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