Since UAB's return from a self-imposed death penalty, the Conference USA West title has run through Birmingham, Alabama, with Bill Clark's Blazers winning three titles in a row. Will anything change now that they return most of last year's contributors?
Like the Alamo or Pearl Brewery, hope might live in San Antonio. UTSA took a healthy step forward in Jeff Traylor's first season, and SP+ projections suggest UAB's Nov. 20 trip to the AlamoDome could determine the division champ.
Let's take a deep dive into how things might play out in the C-USA West.
Every week through the summer, Bill Connelly will preview another division from the Group of 5 and Power 5 exclusively for ESPN+, ultimately including all 130 FBS teams. The previews will include 2020 breakdowns, 2021 previews and a brief history of each team in one handy chart. The series began with the Conference USA East.
After going a combined 2-34 from 2017 to 2019, UTEP jumped to 3-5 in 2020. Sure, the wins were against two FCS schools and a dreadful ULM. Still! Three wins!
Projected SP+ rank: 128th
Projected record: 3-9 (2-6)