Conference USA Football Championship Game

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Conference USA Football Championship Game
Conference Football Championship
2017 C-USA Football Champ Logo.png
Sport College football
Conference Conference USA
Current stadium Hosted at school site by team with best conference winning percentage
Played 2005–present
Last contest 2017
Current champion Florida Atlantic
Most championships Tulsa, UCF, East Carolina, Western Kentucky (2)
TV partner(s) ESPN/ESPN2, ABC, CBSSN
Official website

The Conference USA Football Championship Game is an annual American football game that has determined the Conference USA's season champion since 2005. The championship game pits the C-USA East Division regular season champion against the West Division regular season champion. It is typically played on the first Saturday of December. The 2017 edition of the game, sponsored by Dynacraft BSC, was played on December 2, 2017, televised by ESPN's family of networks.

Five of the fourteen current C-USA members have played in the Conference USA Football Championship Game. The overall series between both divisions is led by the East Division, 9–4.

While five C-USA members have played in the game, only four have won: Marshall and WKU of the current East Division members, and Southern Miss and Rice of the current West Division members.

The C-USA Football Championship Game has been aired on ESPN or their affiliates since 2005, but the 2018 Championship Game will air on CBSSN.[1]


Conference USA champions (1996–2004)

Before 2005, each member of the conference played in a round robin scheduling to determine the champion of the conference. In this time period, Southern Miss won the most with 4 titles. Historically the winner of the C-USA Championship customarily receives a berth to play in the Liberty Bowl against a member of the Southeastern Conference.

  • AP final rankings shown, following bowl games
Season Champion(s) Conf.
Bowl result
1996 Houston 4–1 7–5 lost Liberty Bowl
Southern Miss 4–1 8–3
1997 #22 Southern Miss 6–0 9–3 won Liberty Bowl
1998 #7 Tulane 6–0 12–0 won Liberty Bowl
1999 #14 Southern Miss 6–0 9–3 won Liberty Bowl
2000 Louisville 6–1 9–3 lost Liberty Bowl
2001 #17 Louisville 6–1 11–2 won Liberty Bowl
2002 #23 TCU 6–2 11–2 won Liberty Bowl
Cincinnati 6–2 7–7 lost New Orleans Bowl
2003 Southern Miss 8–0 9–4 lost Liberty Bowl
2004 #6 Louisville 8–0 11–1 won Liberty Bowl

Conference USA Championship Game (2005–present)

Year West East Site Attendance
2005 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 44 UCF Knights 27 Citrus Bowl • (Orlando, Florida) 51,978
2006 Houston Cougars 34 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 20 Robertson Stadium • (Houston) 31,818
2007 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 25 UCF Knights 44 Bright House Networks Stadium • (Orlando, Florida) 44,128
2008 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 24 East Carolina Pirates 27 Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium • (Tulsa, Oklahoma) 22,740
2009 21 Houston Cougars 32 East Carolina Pirates 38 Dowdy–Ficklen Stadium • (Greenville, North Carolina) 33,048
2010 SMU Mustangs 7 21 UCF Knights 17 Bright House Networks Stadium • (Orlando, Florida) 41,045
2011 6 Houston Cougars 28 24 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 49 Robertson Stadium • (Houston) 32,413
2012 Tulsa Golden Hurricane 33 UCF Knights 27 Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium • (Tulsa, Oklahoma) 17,635
2013 Rice Owls 41 Marshall Thundering Herd 24 Rice Stadium • (Houston)[2] 20,247
2014 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 23 Marshall Thundering Herd 26 Joan C. Edwards Stadium • (Huntington, West Virginia) 23,711
2015 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 28 WKU Hilltoppers 45 Houchens Industries–L. T. Smith Stadium • (Bowling Green, Kentucky) 16,823
2016 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 44 WKU Hilltoppers 58 13,213
2017 North Texas Mean Green 17 Florida Atlantic Owls 41 FAU Stadium • (Boca Raton, Florida) 14,258

Results by team

Current members

Appearances School W L Pct Year(s) Won
3 Southern Miss 1 2 .333 2011
2 Western Kentucky 2 0 1.000 2015, 2016
2 Marshall 1 1 .500 2014
2 Louisiana Tech 0 2 .000
1 Florida Atlantic 1 0 1.000 2017
1 Rice 1 0 1.000 2013
1 North Texas 0 1 .000

Former members

Appearances School W L Pct
4 Tulsa 2 2 .500
4 UCF 2 2 .500
3 Houston 1 2 .333
2 East Carolina 2 0 1.000
1 SMU 0 1 .000
  • Memphis and Tulane did not make an appearance in an Conference USA Championship Game when a member of the conference.

Game location

The team with the best overall conference win percentage will be the team that hosts the championship game. Four venues have hosted two title games—Houston's Robertson Stadium of Houston (since demolished, with TDECU Stadium standing at its former site), UCF's Spectrum Stadium (both under its former name of Bright House Networks Stadium), Tulsa's Chapman Stadium, and WKU's Houchens Stadium.

In most recent years, Marshall and Rice both finished with 7–1 records in conference play in 2013, and did not play one another in the regular season, the site was chosen based on the BCS rankings at that time on December 1. Although only 25 teams were explicitly ranked, the ranking formula could be used to determine the relative rankings of any two teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Since 2014, when the BCS was replaced with the College Football Playoff rankings (CFP), national rankings have been removed from the tiebreaker process.

As of the 2017 contest, the home team is 10–3 overall in CUSA football championship games.


Season MVP Team Position
2005 Garrett Mills Tulsa TE
2006 Vincent Marshall Houston WR
2007 Kevin Smith UCF RB
2008 Travis Simmons ECU CB
2009 Dwayne Harris ECU WR
2010 Latavius Murray UCF RB
2011 Tracy Lampley USM RB/WR
2012 Trey Watts Tulsa RB/PR/KR
2013 Luke Turner Rice RB
2014 Justin Haig Marshall K
2015 Brandon Doughty WKU QB
2016 Ace Wales WKU RB
2017 Kalib Woods FAU WR

Selection criteria

Division standings are based on each team's overall conference record. Often, two or more teams tie for the best record in their division and each team is recognized as a divisional co-champion. However, tiebreakers are used to determine who will represent the division in the championship game.

Two-team tie-breaker procedure

  1. Highest regular season winning percentage based on overall Conference USA play.
  2. If tied, head to head between tied teams.
  3. If still tied, team with highest CFP ranking.

NOTE: Although all division rivals meet during the season and NCAA overtime is played in case of a tie game, the CUSA has provisions in case a game ends in a tie under NCAA Rule 3-3-3 (c) and (d), Suspending the Game, or if the two tied teams did not play an official game because of weather. As such, CUSA rules still contain the remaining procedures if those circumstances were to happen.

Three or more-team procedure

(Once the tie has been reduced to two teams, go to the two-team tie-breaker format.)

  1. Highest regular season winning percentage based on overall CUSA play.
  2. If tied, head to head between tied teams.
  3. If still tied, highest winning percentage within division.
  4. If still tied, compare records against divisional opponents in descending order of finish.
  5. If still tied, compare records with common cross-divisional opponents.
  6. If still tied, compare records against cross-divisional opponents in descending order of finish.
  7. If still tied, team with highest CFP ranking.
  8. If still tied, the representative will be the team that has not participated in the championship game most recently.
  9. If at any point the tie is broken in a multiple team tie, the remaining teams will begin the process again at #2.

See also


  2. ^
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