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Memphis has all the tools

8/21/2004

ESPN analyst Bill Curry predicts the Conference USA Champion, award winners and more:

And the winner is ...
Memphis

The presence of a great running back (DeAngelo Williams), a great defensive coordinator (Joe Lee Dunn), and a dominating defensive lineman (Albert Means) sets Memphis up for a parting shot before the league is ripped asunder.

But I wouldn't be surprised ...
If UAB won
Watson Brown has patiently built to his strengths when injuries did not dictate. At times has subjugated his amazing offensive mind and played to his defense when personnel dictated. With scintillating Darrell Hackney back at QB and a fine defense returning, last year's close losses should become wins this time.

Most Valuable Player ...
DeAngelo Williams, RB, Memphis
Last year's NCAA all purpose yards leader (192.1ypg), he is healthy, bigger and reportedly faster than a year ago.

Most Important Player ...
Kevin Kolb, QB, Houston
Houston coach Art Briles' offense was Kolb's high school system. Kolb's 25 touchdown, 6 interception performance is the best I have ever seen by a true freshman at the QB position. He will only get better if he can keep his head on straight.

Coach of the Year ...
Watson Brown, UAB
The Blazers most amazing of the "new" programs. Competing with Alabama and Auburn 365 days a year is a condition of employment in that state. These guys are competing!

Assistant You Should Know ...
Noah Brindise, Offensive Coordinator, East Carolina
Brindise is a fascinating hire by John Thompson. He brings the "Fun and Gun" mindset to a program in desperate need of an offensive spark.

Player I'd pay to watch ...
Albert Means, DT, Memphis
Can this talented 6'4", 335 pound talent come into his own ... and own the league? Joe Lee Dunn will get the maximum from the big fellow.

Toughest Place to play ...
Amon G. Carter Stadium, TCU
Do not go to Fort Worth to play tackle football unless you are Boise State in a bowl game!

Game of the Year ...
Southern Miss at Memphis, Nov. 12
A Friday night that will doubtless include inclement weather, great individual matchups and a whole bunch on the line!

ESPN college football analyst Bill Curry coached for 17 years in the college ranks. His breakdowns for marquee matchups appear each week during the college football season.