Conference USA bowling over foes

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Kevin Dunleavy

Which conference has had the most success the last two bowl seasons?

While most would guess the powerful SEC, which has captured the last six BCS title games, the answer is a smaller conference that covers a similar geographic footprint.

With an 8-2 mark combined the last two seasons, Conference USA has made the most of December and January, easily exceeding the record of the SEC (9-5) entering Wednesday's Sugar Bowl game between Louisville and Florida.

This year's four wins by Conference USA have all come by at least 14 points: UCF over Ball State 38-17, SMU over Fresno State 43-10, Rice over Air Force 33-14 and Tulsa over Iowa State 31-17.

Last year record-setting quarterback Case Keenum and Houston brought Conference USA some exposure by winning their first 12 games and reaching No. 7 before falling in the conference title game to Southern Miss. Houston went on to beat No. 20 Penn State 30-14 in the TicketCity Bowl. In 2010, Conference USA made noise as Tulsa traveled to Honolulu and trounced No. 24 Hawaii 62-35, and UCF toppled Georgia 10-6.

- Kevin Dunleavy

kdunleavy@washingtonexaminer.com

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