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Saturday, September 30, 2023


POWER RANKINGS: Close, but no cigar

1. Tulsa

(7-0, 4-0 C-USA)

The Golden Hurricane haven’t really done anything to shout about. They’ve beaten mediocre teams and now sit at 7-0 with a No. 22 ranking in the Associated Press Top 25 Poll. Call Judge Dredd when Tulsa stops a meteor the size of Houston from smashing into the earth by using only its laser vision – or when it goes undefeated. Judge Dredd expects the latter will be the only one to occur in this lifetime.

2. Houston

(4-3, 3-0 C-USA)

Well, a win is a win in Judge Dredd’s book. The Cougars didn’t exactly dominate one of the weaker teams in Conference USA, but their come-from-behind victory over SMU did improve their record to 3-0 in the C-USA standings. That’s one thing the Golden Hurricane and the Cougars have in common. If Houston hadn’t underachieved and lost games against Air Force and Colorado State, the two squads might have a little more to talk about, like how cool it feels to be ranked. Yeah, Judge Dredd went there.

3. Rice

(4-3, 3-1 C-USA)

The Owls remain a legitimate threat to put up huge amounts of yards and light up the scoreboard against any team in C-USA. Unfortunately for Rice, the same can be said of any offense that lines up against its defense. Watching the Owls play football is like watching a few sixth graders playing lick-for-lick. With weapons like wide receiver Jarett Dillard and quarterback Chase Clement, Judge Dredd assumes Rice head coach David Baliff likes his odds of coming out on top in that game. He has the larger arms.

4. East Carolina

(4-3, 2-1 C-USA)

East Carolina refuses to fall below .500, so Judge Dredd can hammer it with the dozens of purple pirate one-liners he’s been waiting to use since last season. When that day comes, it will be glorious. It will be hilarious. Pee Dee the Purple Pirate will tremble at the sound of Judge Dredd’s name.

5. Texas-El Paso

(3-4, 3-1 C-USA)

The Miners got the hell beat of them in a 77-35 loss to Tulsa. The score reminds Judge Dredd of a bad high school basketball game – the kind of game where a really good team with a bout for Division I prospects on the floor plays a team that can barely run a three-man-weave.

6. Marshall

(3-4, 2-1 C-USA)

Nice going, Marshall. It’s only natural that you be the one to give Alabama-Birmingham its first C-USA win.

7. Central Florida

(2-4, 1-1 C-USA)

The Golden Knights were steamrolled by UTEP 58-13 on Sept. 27. UTEP was whipped by Tulsa 77-35 Saturday. Therefore, expect Tulsa to set more offensive records when playing host to UCF this weekend.

8. Memphis

(3-5, 1-3 C-USA)

The Tigers continue to descend into the basement of the Eastern Division. A loss to Southern Miss on Saturday would be the ultimate slap in the face.

9. Tulane

(2-4, 1-2 C-USA)

When you’re sliding into home and your pants start to foam – Tulane Green Wave, Tulane Green Wave. Tulane needs to capture four more wins to qualify for a postseason bowl, which won’t be easy with its next three games looming against Rice, Houston and LSU.

10. Alabama-Birmingham

(2-6, 1-3 C-USA)

The Blazers are 1-2 in their last three games, but they’ve been competitive in each. UAB is going to be a tough out for the four remaining teams on its schedule.

11. Southern Miss

(2-5, 0-3 C-USA)

The Golden Eagles are starting to look like Golden Pigeons. They just had their feathers fried by Rice’s high-octane offense in Saturday’s 45-40 loss.

12. Southern Methodist

(1-7, 0-5 C-USA)

The Shetland Ponies have played extremely well in their last two games, but the bottom line remains the same – this team is as sorry as they come.

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