C-USA Football: Preseason Notables & Media Poll Amid No In-Person Media Day
Like many leagues across the country, Conference USA has started to roll out their 2021 Preseason Watch List, unveiled media projections and pushed out more online/social media content to get fans excited about the upcoming season.
The problem? No traditional in-person media day. Instead, C-USA will host a zoom media day event on July 21-22, per Brett Vito. The pandemic hurt the entire sports landscape as we know it. The financial ramifications will continue to impact sports for years in some cases. But every conference in college football is still electing to meet in person for their media day.
Five Miners Added to C-USA Preseason Watch List
The Miners had five players make it to the preseason watch list, as chosen by the 14 head coaches in C-USA. Wide receiver Jacob Cowing, offensive lineman Bobby DeHaro, defensive end Praise Amaewhule, defensive back Dy'vonne Inyang and punt returner Justin Garrett were added to this year's list.
“It is always nice for our student-athletes to receive preseason accolades ahead of a new season,” head coach Dana Dimel said. “These five guys should be proud of their accomplishments and I know all of our players will take this as an opportunity to prove themselves on the field this fall.”
Separate from the C-USA recognition, Amaewhule was named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Football Club's 27th annual Chuck Bednarik Award, presented to the top defensive player in college football. The redshirt sophomore was one of six C-USA players to earn a spot on the watch list.
The pass rusher received second team All C-USA recognition in 2020, when he led the team with 8.0 tackles for loss (50 yards), 7.0 sacks (48 yards) and nine pass breakups.
“It is an honor for Praise to represent our program on such a prestigious watch list as we prepare for the 2021 season,” head coach Dana Dimel said. “He was a constant leader on the field for us last year and this accolade is well deserved for the amount of work he puts in to hone his craft.”
UTEP is, once again, at the bottom of projections
Entering year four for Dana Dimel, the UTEP brass understands how vital winning will be this fall. Dimel has a 5-27 record over three seasons and he had to deal with navigating the Miners through the pandemic last year. But everyone is going to judge this coaching staff on year four, which might be the most manageable of them all.
Media members that cover the league tend to disagree with UTEP having a favorable schedule—at least for C-USA purposes. The Miners were picked to finish seventh in the West Divison.
Speaking of projections, Super Book Sports released the full odds to win the league today. Mirroring the media members' choice to stick UTEP at the bottom, Super Book Sports gives the Miners 80/1 odds to win the league title. That projection for UTEP is second-worst only to Old Dominion (300-1 odds).
Grab your popcorn and get ready to be very, very mildly entertained for the virtual Conference USA media event while the rest of the country hosts media days.