A look around Conference USA

Louisville is the favorite to capture the conference title after a near-flawless start.

Originally Published: October 12, 2004
By Adam Rittenberg | Special to ESPN.com
Parity is the buzzword around college football, and Conference USA continues to drive the bus. A league that had seven of 11 teams finish at .500 or better last season is headed toward another wild ending. Three squads are currently undefeated in league play, while several others are within striking distance of the top. Untangling the hodgepodge of contenders is no easy task, but here's what we know so far.

Louisville is the favorite to capture the conference title after a near-flawless start. In four games the Cardinals have produced two shutouts and forced 12 turnovers. Coach Bobby Petrino is stocked with offensive weapons at QB and RB, and Louisville currently ranks fourth nationally in total offense (503.8 ypg).

Southern Miss survived a scare last Thursday against Houston and moved to 4-0 with an overtime win. The defending league champs are 3-0 on the road, where they'll face Memphis and Texas Christian in mid-November. UAB is unbeaten in league play and boasts a veteran core that has learned how to win close games.