Conference USA media day is Tuesday, July 23, and when the 10 league members, including newcomer Kennesaw State, descend on the PGA of America Headquarters in Frisco, Texas, “Talking Season” for the league officially kicks off.

As we await the CUSA media day and the official release of the 2024 media poll, we release our predicted order of finish from ASOR.


1. Liberty

The Flames were a perfect 8-0 in 2023 in CUSA play, the team’s first year in the league. Liberty advanced to the CUSA Championship Game, defeating New Mexico State to claim the league’s title. This all happened under first year head coach Jamey Chadwell with Kaidon Salter at quarterback. Chadwell and Salter are back, as well as a host of other returning contributors. They team up with several newcomers as Liberty looks to repeat as Conference champions.

2. Western Kentucky

2023 was a disappointment for the Hilltoppers, limping to a fourth place finish in CUSA after most expected them to be the favorite in the league. Coach Tyson Helton is back and looking to guide WKU back to the conference championship game after a brief absence.

3. Jacksonville State

The Gamecocks were a big surprise in 2023, their first year in CUSA and at the FBS level. The team went 9-4 and proved it should be a major factor in the league for years to come. Coach Rich Rodriguez is back. He will have to replace a few key pieces, and Jax State has to play at both Liberty and Western Kentucky. That m at be the difference between the Gamecocks being able to make a championship game appearance and just missing out.

4. Sam Houston

Sam Houston was just 3-9 last year, their first season in CUSA and at the FBS level, but they lost five games by one score including two in overtime. After starting the year 0-8, the Bearkats finished by winning 3 of their final 4 contests. With a large group of Returners and having a year to adjust to the FBS level, Sam Houston is a team to keep an eye on to make a surprising push for a conference title if things go well. Sam does get both Liberty and Jacksonville State at home, which should provide them an opportunity to pull an upset in their bid to compete at the top of the conference.

5. New Mexico State

The Aggies won 10 games a year ago, including a win at Auburn and a CUSA championship game appearance. But now they have a new coaching staff and lost a plethora of talent in the e transfer portal. The 2024 version of NMSU is a bit of an unknown with all the changes. They could be anywhere from the bottom of the league to competing at the top once again. We might not know until a few weeks into the season.

6. Middle Tennessee

The Blue Raiders welcome in new head coach Derek Mason, former head coach of Vanderbilt. He replaced longtime MTSU head coach Rick Stockstill. Coach Mason has some talent to work with as he attempts to guide the program back to a high level in Murfreesboro.


The Miners also welcome in a new head coach, in first year skipper Scotty Walden. Moving up to the FBS level from Austin Peay, Coach Walden will have a tough slate in the opening month or two of the season with trips to Nebraska, Liberty, Colorado State, and Western Kentucky.

8. Louisiana Tech

Sonny Cumbie has guided the Bulldogs to 3-9 seasons in each of his first two seasons. He will certainly be hoping to turn things around this fall and help the team get to a bowl game for the first time under his leadership.

9. Kennesaw State

The Owls make the transition from the FCS to the FBS. They will certainly be looking to replicate the success Jacksonville State saw last year, but it’s not an easy path to accomplish. Kennesaw State has built a successful program since starting its program for the 2015 campaign. Brian Bohannon has led the way throughout the duration of the program. The Owls have won 11 or more games in four seasons while finishing in the FCS Top 25 five times.

10. FIU

The Panthers have won 4 games in each of the past seasons and haven’t made a bowl game since 2019. Will Coach MacIntyre right the ship in his third season in Miami?