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Key conference games for Conference USA in 2022

If you’re a fan of the C-USA, here are the biggest games that will help determine the conference championship in 2022.

NCAA Football: Conference USA Championship Game-Western Kentucky vs Texas-San Antonio Ivan Pierre Aguirre-USA TODAY Sports

Out of all of the FBS conferences affected by the latest round of realignment, Conference USA is undergoing the most radical change. Three schools have already departed for the Sun Belt and six are slated to jump to the American in 2023. That means this upcoming season will be the final one where the league will have most of its core membership in tact.

As the conference preps for this pseudo swan song season, we’ll go over some games to keep your eye on this fall.

North Texas vs. UTEP, August 27, 9 p.m. ET, Stadium

Kicking things off in Week 0 will be a battle of two teams from the Lone Star State that went bowling last year as North Texas travels to the border to meet UTEP.

After a 1-6 start, UNT head coach Seth Littrell saved his job by guiding the Mean Green to five straight wins to close the regular season. Meanwhile, UTEP head coach Dana Dimel pulled off the lofty job of leading the Miners to seven wins and the program’s first bowl game since 2014. Both of these teams are projected to compete for bowl eligibility once again and this season opener should be a fun one.

Western Kentucky vs. UTSA, October 8, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The rematch of last year’s Conference USA Championship Game will take place in early October as Western Kentucky travels down to the Alamodome to face UTSA. The Roadrunners beat the Hilltoppers twice last season, both games being wild shootouts that toppled 90 points.

With two-time C-USA Player of the Year Sincere McCormick gone to the NFL, UTSA will turn to Arkansas transfer Trelon Smith to fill his place at running back. And with record-setting quarterback Bailey Zappe off to the league as well, WKU has once again dipped into the transfer portal and has brought in West Virginia transfer Jarret Doege to take snaps. This matchup should be fun.

UTSA vs. UAB, November 5, 3:30 p.m. ET, Stadium

We’ll be treated to a potential preview of the conference title game in early November as UTSA heads east to the Iron City to face UAB. The Blazers have made the league championship game three out of the last four years and will have a tough Roadrunners team standing in their path.

This game is also intriguing for the fact that both programs will be departing for the American come next season. Both UTSA and UAB are projected to be two of the top programs in the AAC upon their arrival so it’ll be interesting to see who can gain the edge on who before their departures.

Once we have the final two teams, the C-USA Conference Championship Game will be held on December 2 from the campus of the team with the highest winning percentage.