2012 Conference USA Football Previews: From Sea To Shining Sea

America's most expansive conference should turn out a few fine football teams this year, all the while providing its usual geography lessons.

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2012 Southern Miss Football Preview: Old Hands And New Faces

Southern Miss surprised many with their hire of seasoned defensive assistant Ellis Johnson to replace young offensive dynamo Larry Fedora as head coach. Can some old hands uphold the Golden Eagles' status as one of the healthiest, deepest mid-major teams this side of Boise? And can they find a quarterback to go with a wealth of offensive weapons?

Related: Southern Miss' complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

For more on Houston football, visit SB Nation Houston.

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2012 Houston Cougars Football Preview: Xtreme Aplomb

Most of the names and faces are gone, but under new head coach Tony Levine, Houston will try to keep the good times rolling in one final year at Robertson Stadium this fall. And this being Houston, whether they succeed or fail, it should be worth watching.

Related: Houston's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

For more on Houston football, visit SB Nation Houston.

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2012 Tulsa Football: Bigger Fish, Smaller Markets

In Bill Blankenship's first year at Tulsa, his Golden Hurricane survived a brutal September slate and thrived in October and November. Will the departures of G.J. Kinne and some underrated defenders prevent TU from taking another step forward in 2012? Probably not.

Related: Tulsa's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 UCF Football Preview: Trachselization

UCF has seen incredible ups and downs in George O'Leary's tenure. A struggle with offensive identity and defensive youth led to a downer of a season in 2011; will experience, depth and a Storm lead to another upper in 2012?

Related: UCF's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 East Carolina Football: Reset Versus Collapse

After two mediocre seasons at East Carolina, Ruffin McNeill has put together an interesting, if mostly unproven, team. Can the Pirates improve the run defense and find at least one big-play threat on offense? Can they improve enough to keep the likable McNeill employed for a fourth season in Greenville?

Related: ECU's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 SMU Football: Elephants On The 50-Yard Line

After almost ending up head coach at Arizona State, June Jones returns to SMU to lead the Mustangs through their final year in Conference USA. Can they ride a UCF-like recipe -- fantastic defense, spotty offense -- to a conference title on their way out the door?

Related: SMU's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 Marshall Football: An End And A Wyoming Cycle

Powered by an incredibly active defense, Marshall won every close game and squeaked out a seven-win season in 2011. Can sophomore quarterback Rakeem Cato and an improved offense make up for a defense that lost a lost of its playmakers, including new Philadelphia Eagle Vinny Curry?

Related: Marshall's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 UTEP Football: Size Does, In Fact, Matter

Mike Price has raised expectations at UTEP just enough that he is now failing to meet them. Can an intriguing batch of skill position players and a bigger defense overcome a rugged schedule and keep Price employed a little bit longer?

Related: UTEP's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 Rice Football: Erring On The Side Of Half-Empty

Once the SWC's Vanderbilt, Rice has struggled to make an impact on the game of college football over the past 50 years. They have also struggled to capitalize on the momentum of their 10-win 2008 season. Can the Owls overcome turnover in the trenches and make more big plays than their opponents this fall?

Related: Rice's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 UAB Football: 10 Long Months

Former Arkansas offensive coordinator Garrick McGee inherits an explosive batch of position players at UAB, but inexperience on the offensive line, not to mention the recovery process of a truly awful defense, could still hold the Blazers back. But there are some interesting young pieces here ... if McGee stays more than 10 more months, anyway.

Related: UAB's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 Memphis Football: Well-Seasoned Versus Decrepit

When an old stadium is hosting a winning team, it is "historical" and "well-seasoned." When it is two-thirds empty and hosting a depressing team, it is just old and decrepit. Can new coach Justin Fuente bring the happy adjectives back to both Memphis and the Liberty Bowl after a depressing few seasons?

Related: Memphis' complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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2012 Tulane Football Preview: Time For A Pop Quiz

First-time head coach Curtis Johnson inherits a Tulane squad that is full of both experience and former three-star recruits. Can this energetic New Orleans native bring a level of energy to a program that hasn't had any reason for optimism since Shaun King was quarterback?

Related: Tulane's complete 2012 statistical profile, including projected starters, year-to-year trends, and rankings galore.

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