2017 Conference USA football season

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2017 Conference USA football season
Conference USA logo.svg
LeagueNCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision
SportFootball
DurationAugust 26, 2017
through December 27, 2017
Number of teams14
TV partner(s)ESPN, CBS Sports Network, Stadium, beIN Sports, CUSA.tv, FloSports
2018 NFL Draft
Top draft pickDE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Picked byNew Orleans Saints, 14th overall
Regular season
Season MVPRB Devin Singletary, FAU
East championsFlorida Atlantic
West championsNorth Texas
Championship Game
ChampionsFlorida Atlantic
  Runners-upNorth Texas
Finals MVPWR Kalib Woods, FAU
Football seasons
← 2016
2018 →
2017 Conference USA football standings
Conf     Overall
Team   W   L         W   L  
East Division
Florida Atlantic x$   8 0         11 3  
FIU   5 3         8 5  
Marshall   4 4         8 5  
Western Kentucky   4 4         6 7  
Middle Tennessee   4 4         7 6  
Old Dominion   3 5         5 7  
Charlotte   1 7         1 11  
West Division
North Texas x   7 1         9 5  
UAB   6 2         8 5  
Southern Miss   6 2         8 5  
Louisiana Tech   4 4         7 6  
UTSA   3 5         6 5  
Rice   1 7         1 11  
UTEP   0 8         0 12  
Championship: Florida Atlantic 41, North Texas 17
  • $ – Conference champion
  • x – Division champion/co-champions
Rankings from AP Poll

The 2017 Conference USA football season was the 22nd season of Conference USA football and part of the 2017 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The season began on August 26 with Rice facing Stanford in Sydney, Australia.[1] This season was the third season for C-USA under realignment that took place in 2014, which added the 14th member Charlotte from the Atlantic 10 Conference. C-USA is a "Group of Five" conference under the College Football Playoff format along with the American Athletic Conference, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, and the Sun Belt Conference.

C-USA consists of 14 members: Charlotte, FIU, Florida Atlantic, Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTEP, UTSA, and Western Kentucky; and is split up into the East and West divisions. UAB will begin play for the first time since 2014, after the Blazer football program was dropped from competition.[2]

Preseason[edit]

Media predictions[edit]

The 2017 preseason media football poll was released on July 18.[3] Western Kentucky was picked to win its third straight East Division title, while Louisiana Tech was picked to repeat as West Division champion.

Preseason awards[edit]

The conference preseason awards were released on July 17.[4] WKU senior QB Mike White was selected as the C-USA Offensive Player of the Year. Rice senior LB Emmanuel Ellerbee was selected the Defensive Player of the Year, and WKU senior KR Kylen Towner was selected Special Teams Player of the Year honors

Offense
Position Player Class Team
QB Mike White Senior Western Kentucky
WR Richie James Junior Middle Tennessee
WR Jonathan Duhart Senior Old Dominion
WR Allenzae Staggers Senior Southern Miss
RB Ray Lawry Senior Old Dominion
RB Ito Smith Senior Southern Miss
OL O’Shea Dugas Junior Louisiana Tech
OL Will Hernandez Senior UTEP
OL Trey Martin Senior Rice
OL Austin Pratt Senior UTSA
OL Brandon Ray Senior Western Kentucky
TE Ryan Yurachek Senior Marshall
Defense
Position Player Class Team
DL Marcus Davenport Senior UTSA
DL Jaylon Ferguson Sophomore Louisiana Tech
DL Chris Johnson Senior Western Kentucky
DL Oshane Ximines Senior Old Dominion
LB Emmanuel Ellerbee Senior Rice
LB Alvin Jones Senior UTEP
LB Josiah Tauaefa Sophomore UTSA
LB Anthony Wint Senior FIU
DB Brandon Addison Senior Old Dominion
DB Nate Brooks Junior North Texas
DB Joe Brown Senior Western Kentucky
DB Kishawn McClain Senior North Texas
Specialists
Position Player Class Team
P Jake Collins Junior Western Kentucky
K Canon Rooker Senior Middle Tennessee
KR Kylen Towner Senior Western Kentucky
PR Nacarius Fant Senior Western Kentucky
LS Matt Bayliss Senior UTSA
  • Preseason Offensive Player of the Year: Mike White, Senior, QB, WKU
  • Preseason Defensive Player of the Year: Emmanuel Ellerbee, Senior, LB, Rice
  • Preseason Special Teams Player of the Year: Kylen Towner, Senior, KR, WKU

Head coaches[edit]

Three Conference USA teams hired new head coaches for the 2017 season. All three were in the East Division, and all three were replacing coaches who had spent at least three seasons at their respective schools.

  • FIU hired Butch Davis to replace Ron Turner, who was fired after going 0–4 with the panthers.[5] Ron Cooper was promoted as interim head coach after the fire until the hire of Davis. Davis is coming from a break from coaching football from 2011 to 2016. He was the head coach for many teams in college such as North Carolina and teams in NFL. Littrell was hired on November 14, 2016.[6]
  • Florida Atlantic hired Lane Kiffin to replace Charlie Partridge, who was fired after leading the Owls to a 9–27 record during his three-year tenure at Florida Atlantic.[7] Kiffin spent three years prior to Florida Atlantic at Alabama as an offensive coordinator under the head coach, Nick Saban. Lane was hired on December 12, 2016.[8]
  • Western Kentucky hired Mike Sanford Jr. to replace Jeff Brohm, who resigned on December 5, 2016, to become the head coach at Purdue. Sanford was a quarterback coach and an offensive coordinator at Notre Dame for two seasons. Sanford was hired on December 14, 2016.

Note: All stats shown are before the beginning of the season.

Team Head coach Years at school Overall record Record at school CUSA record
Charlotte Brad Lambert 5 16–30 16–30 3–13
FIU Butch Davis 1 63–43 0–0 0–0
Florida Atlantic Lane Kiffin 1 35–21 0–0 0–0
Louisiana Tech Skip Holtz 5 119–93 31–22 22–10
Marshall Doc Holliday 8 53–37 53–37 35–21
Middle Tennessee Rick Stockstill 12 72–66 72–66 22–10
North Texas Seth Littrell 2 5–8 5–8 3–5
Old Dominion Bobby Wilder 9 67–30 67–30 14–10
Rice David Bailiff 11 77–84 56–69 39–41
Southern Miss Jay Hopson 2 39–23 7–6 4–4
UAB Bill Clark 2 17–10 6–6 4–4
UTEP Sean Kugler 5 18–31 18–31 11–21
UTSA Frank Wilson 2 6–7 6–7 5–3
Western Kentucky Mike Sanford Jr. 1 0–0 0–0 0–0

Records against FBS conferences[edit]

Postseason[edit]

Postseason awards[edit]

  • Most Valuable Player: Devin Singletary, RB, Florida Atlantic[9]
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Mason Fine, QB, North Texas[9]
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA[9]
  • Special Teams Player of the Year: Isaiah Harper, KR, Old Dominion[9]
  • Coach of the Year: Bill Clark, UAB[10]
  • Freshman of the Year: Spencer Brown, RB, UAB[9]
  • Newcomer of the Year: Jalen Guyton, WR, sophomore, North Texas & Teddy Veal, WR, junior, Louisiana Tech[9]

All C-USA [11]

Offense
Position Player Class Team
QB Mason Fine Sophomore North Texas
WR Thomas Owens Senior FIU
WR Tyre Brady Junior (RS) Marshall
WR Korey Robertson Junior Southern Miss
RB Devin Singletary Sophomore Florida Atlantic
RB Ito Smith Senior Southern Miss
OL Reggie Bain Junior (RS) Florida Atlantic
OL Roman Fernandez Senior (RS) Florida Atlantic
OL Antonyo Woods Senior Florida Atlantic
OL Will Hernandez Senior UTEP
OL Brandon Ray Senior (RS) WKU
TE Ryan Yurachek Senior Marshall
Defense
Position Player Class Team
DL Jaylon Ferguson Sophomore Louisiana Tech
DL Oshane Ximines Senior Old Dominion
DL Brian Womac Senior Rice
DL Marcus Davenport Senior UTSA
LB Azeez Al-Shaair Junior Florida Atlantic
LB Emmanuel Ellerbee Senior Rice
LB Joel Iyiegbuniwe Junior WKU
DB Jalen Young Junior Florida Atlantic
DB Shelton Lewis Junior Florida Atlantic
DB Secdrick Cooper Senior Louisiana Tech
DB Darious Williams Junior (RS) UAB
Specialists
Position Player Class Team
P Kaare Vedvik Senior (RS) Marshall
K Parker Shaunfield Junior Southern Miss
KR Isaiah Harper Junior Old Dominion
PR Darrell Brown Sophomore Old Dominion
LS Cameron Linck GS Louisiana Tech

Bowl games[edit]

Legend
  CUSA win
  CUSA loss

(Rankings from final CFP Poll; All times Eastern)

Date Time Bowl Game Site TV CUSA Team Opponent Result
December 16, 2017 1:00 PM New Orleans Bowl Mercedes-Benz SuperdomeNew Orleans, LA ESPN North Texas Troy 50–30
December 16, 2017 2:30 PM AutoNation Cure Bowl Camping World StadiumOrlando, FL CBSSN Western Kentucky Georgia State 27–17
December 16, 2017 4:30 PM New Mexico Bowl Dreamstyle StadiumAlbuquerque, NM ESPN Marshall Colorado State 31–28
December 16, 2017 8:00 PM Camellia Bowl Cramton BowlMontgomery, AL ESPN Middle Tennessee Arkansas State 35–30
December 19, 2017 7:00 PM Boca Raton Bowl FAU StadiumBoca Raton, FL ESPN Florida Atlantic Akron 50–3
December 20, 2017 7:00 PM Frisco Bowl Toyota StadiumFrisco, TX ESPN Louisiana Tech SMU 51–10
December 21, 2017 8:00 PM Gasparilla Bowl Tropicana FieldSt. Petersburg, FL ESPN FIU Temple 28–3
December 22, 2017 12:30 PM Bahamas Bowl Thomas Robinson StadiumNassau, Bahamas ESPN UAB Ohio 41–6
December 27, 2017 1:30 PM Independence Bowl Independence StadiumShreveport, LA ESPN Southern Miss Florida State 42–13

Home game attendance[edit]

Team Stadium Capacity Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Game 5 Game 6 Game 7 Total Average % of Capacity
Charlotte Jerry Richardson Stadium 15,314 18,651 11,029 10,584 11,889 10,937 8,330 71,420 11,903 77.73%
FIU FIU Stadium 20,000 5,017† 15,348 16,433 18,874 17,127 16,199 14,004 103,002 14,715 73.57%
Florida Atlantic FAU Stadium 29,419 28,481 16,743 12,913 13,277 15,880 24,116 14,258 ‡ 125,668 17,953 61.02%
Louisiana Tech Joe Aillet Stadium 28,562 24,002 28,100 22,013 17,815 18,504 16,511 15,651 142,596 20,371 71.32%
Marshall Joan C. Edwards Stadium 38,227 22,463 24,044 26,097 19,966 19,516 18,361 130,447 21,741 56.87%
Middle Tennessee Johnny "Red" Floyd Stadium 30788 26717 16523 15527 13412 11411 10128 93,718 15,620 50.73%
North Texas Apogee Stadium 30,850 19,592 20,142 23,068 18,872 26,108 26,392 134,174 22,362 72.49%
Old Dominion Foreman Field 20,118 20,118 20,118 20,118 20,118 20,118 20,118 120,708 20,118 100.00%
Rice Rice Stadium 47,000 18,932 21,766 19,992 18,124 17,956 96,770 19,354 41.18%
Southern Miss M. M. Roberts Stadium 36,000 22,761 24,337 21,907 21,970 19,101 20,189 130,265 21,711 60.31%
UAB Legion Field 71,594 45,212 21,789 27,213 25,309 21,224 12,505 153,252 25,542 35.68%
UTEP Sun Bowl Stadium 51,500 19,136 22,133 20,418 19,456 16,597 97,740 19,548 37.96%
UTSA Alamodome 65,000 25,093 23,517 25,270 20,076 20,148 114,104 22,821 35.11%
WKU Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium 22,113 18,614 16,223 17,590 16,754 12,441 12,612 94,234 15,706 71.02%

†Played at Legion Field in Birmingham, AL [12]

‡ Conference Championship Game

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FB: 2017 Schedule Released". Conferenceusa.com. 2017-01-26. Retrieved 2017-06-12.
  2. ^ "UAB to reinstate football for 2017 season". ESPN.com. July 21, 2015. Retrieved June 12, 2017.
  3. ^ "FB: Preseason Media Poll". Conference USA. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  4. ^ "FB: 2017 Preseason Awards". Conference USA. Retrieved 2017-07-19.
  5. ^ https://news.fiu.edu/2016/09/weekend-replay-head-coach-ron-turner-relieved-of-duties/104397
  6. ^ http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/18049428/florida-international-hires-espn-butch-davis-next-head-coach
  7. ^ https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2016/11/27/florida-atlantic-fires-charlie-partridge-after-three-seasons/94512252/
  8. ^ Low, Chris; McMurphy, Brett (December 12, 2016). "Alabama OC Lane Kiffin to be next head coach of Florida Atlantic". ESPN. Retrieved December 12, 2016.
  9. ^ a b c d e f "FB: 2017 C-USA Individual Awards" (Press release). Conference USA. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  10. ^ "FB: UAB's Bill Clark Named Coach of the Year" (Press release). Conference USA. December 6, 2017. Retrieved December 7, 2017.
  11. ^ "FB: 2017 All-Conference Awards" (Press release). Conference USA. December 5, 2017. Retrieved December 24, 2017.
  12. ^ "Hurricane Irma 2017: FIU vs. Alcorn State to be played in Birmingham". AL.com.