I give thanks for a family that understands why I am traveling on Thanksgiving, and I am thankful I am laying over at the Charlotte airport instead of Atlanta. (And please nobody tell me I should drive 14-18 hours roundtrip on a holiday weekend. Shush!)
1. Tulsa (9-2, 7-0). Golden Hurricane struck a mighty blow for C-USA 2013 holdovers. Is it wrong for me to openly root for these guys on Dec. 1?
2. Central Florida (8-3, 6-1) After Saturday, George O’Leary becomes the “dean” of C-USA coaches, for a week.
3. East Carolina (7-4, 6-1) We’ll see what the Herd has learned after 11 games, won’t we?
4. Rice (5-6, 3-4) A momentum call here.
5. Marshall (5-6, 4-3) I’m not sure I can look at 2 p.m. Friday
6. Southern Meth (5-6, 4-3) Call this an anti-Big East bias, and I plead guilty. That, and the Mustangs just got clocked by Rice.
7. Houston (4-7, 3-4) Magazines who picked Cougars to repeat in West can make an omelet with their face.
8. Texas-El Paso (3-8, 2-5) As much of a tribute I can give to Mike Price, one of the most wonderful coaches I’ve had the privilege to interview.
9. Memphis (3-8, 3-4) It pains me to rank the Tigers this high, but I like what Justin Fuente is doing so far. … And the Tigers won’t have Rutgers to impede them, right?
10. Alabama-Birmingham (3-8, 2-5) The Blazers faltered again in their bid to make me call them “UAB” on first reference.
11. Tulane (2-9, 2-5) If you want to defend Marshall’s rushing defense ranking, point out the fact the Herd didn’t play this bunch.
12. Southern Miss (0-11, 0-7) If Golden Eagles win at Memphis, you can scratch that Mayan apocalypse thing.