2023 Conference USA college football preview, part 2

Editor's note: This story was updated in late July to reflect the latest projections and changes to teams and rosters.

In 27 seasons, Conference USA has produced 29 champions or co-champions. The conference's nine current members have accounted for ... two of them. Western Kentucky won in 2015 and 2016. That's the entire list.

C-USA is college football's ultimate way station, a stopping point on your way up or down the football ladder, but temporary home or no, this is typically a conference full of variety and loads of tight games. There's nothing wrong with that, and there's no reason to think 2023 will be anything different.

SP+ projects four teams within 1.4 conference wins of each other atop the league, and the variety of approaches is pretty clear. WKU's Tyson Helton made his team a league favorite by deciding to air out the football. Louisiana Tech coach Sonny Cumbie doesn't mind going vertical, Middle Tennessee's Rick Stockstill has saved his job multiple times with a relentless horizontal passing game and UTEP's Dana Dimel just wants to push you over. Florida International's Mike MacIntyre? His approach has shifted at times, but he's won 10 games at both Colorado and San Jose State -- he's fearless and willing to try just about anything.

Last week, we previewed C-USA's four newcomers; this time around, let's look at the holdovers.

Every week through the offseason, Bill Connelly will preview another division from the Group of 5 and Power 5 exclusively for ESPN+, ultimately including all 133 FBS teams. The previews will include 2022 breakdowns, 2023 previews and burning questions for each team.

Earlier previews: Conference USA (newcomers)