IRVING, TX (WAVY) — Following a 10-win season and its first bowl win, expectations are high for Old Dominion. Last season, the Monarchs were picked to finish in 6th place in the Conference USA’s East Division, but ODU defied the odds and ended up in second place.
This season, ODU has been picked to finish in third place. This week, C-USA held its media day in Irving, Texas with a hot bed of topics on the agenda. Western Kentucky, with a new head coach, is trying to become the first team in league history to win three consecutive conference titles. UAB’s team is back after dismantling and then resurrecting its program two years ago. Two high profile former NFL head coaches will be making their debuts in C-USA, Lane Kiffin at Florida Atlantic and Butch Davis at Florida International.
For the second year in a row, C-USA had an overall winning record in bowl games and the league is trying to stand out among the schools that are not a part of the Power 5 conferences. With games scheduled this year against Virginia Tech and North Carolina of the ACC, coach Bobby Wilder wants to see his team continue to grow.
“Granted we’re only 8 years old but it’s time for us to put our big boy pants on and step against the Power 5 teams and establish ourselves,” Wilder said. “I don’t think there is any question that the coaching that’s going on in this league right now, the caliber of play in this league and the post season accomplishments, all make it pretty clear that Conference USA is as good as any of the other conferences.”
ODU opens the season at home against Albany.