College football countdown: No. 57 Southern Miss

Judgment day: Nov. 13 at UCF. The Golden Eagles and Knights sit above the rest of the division in talent and stability. Winning this showdown would give USM a bump before finishing with West favorites Houston and Tulsa.

Coach’s job security: Solid. Larry Fedora has kept USM at familiar levels—the Golden Eagles have won seven games in each of his first two years, just as they did in three of Jeff Bower’s last four seasons there. He got hired, though, to win league titles. Showing progress toward that in 2010 will help please his bosses.