CSJ’s FBS G5 Week 1 Game of the Week and Fearless Predictions
August 31, 2017
Troy (0-0) at Boise State (0-0)
Saturday, September 2, 3:45 PM EDT, TV: ESPNU
Albertsons Stadium, Boise, Idaho
This is a FBS G5 match-up that features two teams that very well could win their respective conferences with Troy in the Sun Belt and Boise State in the Mountain West. Even if neither team wins its league, the winner of this game will aid is conference in the rankings to get is its champion to the New Year’s Six Bowl game.
Boise State has tough contents with Washington State up next in Boise and road games at BYU and San Diego State as part of the first half of the season, but this game is every bit as dangerous. Troy proved last season it could go to Clemson and bring a fight so the blue turf of Boise will not faze the Trojans.
As one of the breakthrough teams of last season, Troy still has a date at LSU but outside of that, its next tough game (at least on paper) will not be until the regular season finale at Arkansas State.
But aside from any other implications for the future, this game should be entertaining regardless. It matches two of the top G5 quarterbacks in BSU’s Brett Rypien and Troy’s Brandon Silvers.
Silvers is fifth among active FBS passers with 7,394 career yards, while Rypien is ninth with 6,999 so with these kinds of numbers, we should see many balls in the air in the hot, smoky skies of Boise. (Wildfires are causing smoky air conditions and the high temperature is expected in the mid 90s Saturday).
In 2016, the Broncos scored just one more total point than Troy (439-438). With the Broncos returning Rypien and the Trojans returning Silvers (plus all but one player who had a catch or a rush), this game should match arguably the top two offenses of all G5 squads.
This is the first matchup between these schools. BSU is an all-time 6-0 versus Sun Belt Conference teams, while Troy is 2-2 versus Mountain West Conference foes.
This game will likely come down to which defense can stop the opposing offense more. The Broncos defense last year gave up just over 23 points per game while the Trojans gave up just over 22 points per game.
So with two high profile offenses and two rather stingy defenses, this has the makings of a very tight game. But with the home turf in Boise, I will take the Broncos by a touchdown.
BOISE STATE 31 TROY 24
Hurricane Harvey’s Havoc
With Hurricane Harvey’s devastation in the east Texas area, the Houston Cougars announced Tuesday that their season opener at UTSA has been postponed and will be made up at a later date.
“Everyone in our university community, including our student-athletes, coaches and their staff, has been impacted by this incredible storm. This is a time for all of us to focus on the wellbeing of our families and neighbors and the recovery of the Houston area,” said University of Houston president Renu Khator. “We’ll be excited to resume athletic competition, but right now our student-athletes are anxious to contribute to getting the city we love so much back on its feet again.”
BYU was scheduled to have a neutral site game against LSU in Houston but that game was moved to New Orleans at the Mercedes Benz Superdome. Massive flooding and other complications brought on by Hurricane Harvey made moving the game out of Houston’s NRG Stadium a necessity, officials said.
“We are sorry for the disruption to BYU fans who purchased tickets and made travel plans for Houston,” said BYU athletic director Tom Holmoe. “We hope many of you will be able to make necessary changes to join us in New Orleans to cheer on the Cougars.”
Here are six possible G5 vs. P5 upsets that need to be watched.
Thursday, Aug. 31st
Tulsa at Oklahoma State – The Golden Hurricane are one of the top AAC squads. The will come ready against their in-state foe in the Big 12’s Cowboys and could spoil OSU’s College Football Playoff dreams right away. Golden Hurricane 41 Cowboys 30
Friday, Sept. 1st
Colorado State vs. Colorado (at Denver)—These two teams play every year in the Denver Broncos stadium. Against the Pac-12’s South Division defending champion Buffalos, the Rams have already beat one Pac-12 team and I think they do it again. Rams 31 Buffaloes 30
Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Wyoming at Iowa—Craig Bohl’s former team in FCS North Dakota State came into Iowa City and beat the Hawkeyes last year. With the possible top quarterback in the country in Josh Allen for Wyoming, I think a similar upset could be in the making. Cowboys 27 Hawkeyes 24
Western Michigan at Southern Cal—P.J. Fleck may be gone but much of the talent from last year’s undefeated regular season team is back for the Broncos. The Pac 12’s USC just might overlook WMU and the Broncos will likely keep this one close. Broncos 41 Trojans 38
Appalachian State at Georgia—The Mountaineers just about beat an SEC team last year in taking Tennessee to OT and this year is the 10th anniversary of that famous Michigan upset. App State might be more talented and for sure is more experienced this year than last. I like App State to pull off the upset. Mountaineers 33 Georgia 30
Arkansas State at Nebraska—The Red Wolves bring a strong team into Lincoln against the Cornhuskers. A-State has a chance to keep this one close with a very good offense but it might not be quite enough. Nebraska will likely just squeak by in this one. Cornhuskers 32 Red Wolves 26
FCS Upset Beware
Just like the Power 5’s being upset, the G5 schools also have a chance to go down. Here are four possible FCS vs. G5 closer than you think match-ups.
Friday, Sept. 1st
Fordham at Army—The FCS Rams have done it before and this year’s team looks strong in the Patriot League. Yes, the Black Knights have seemed to turn things around especially in defeating Navy last year. But don’t overlook this game Army fans. It will be close but Army squeaks by. Black Knights 27 Fordham 24
Saturday, Sept. 2nd
James Madison at East Carolina—The Dukes are the reigning FCS national champions and the Pirates finished in the lower half of the AAC standings. Upset is spelled all over this game. It will be close and think the FCS wins this one. Dukes 37 Pirates 31
Southeastern Louisiana at Louisiana—The FCS Lions are typically a strong Southland contender and this year likely will be no different. The Ragin’ Cajuns have slipped lately after being near the top of the Sun Belt standings. Look for SELA to pull this one out. Lions 42 Ragin’ Cajuns 38
Alabama A&M at Alabama-Birmingham—The Blazers welcome back football in Alabama’s largest city but beware of the SWAC’s Bulldogs. With a new team it is unclear how well they perform but believe the momentum of the new program will overtake the Bulldogs. Blazers 28 Bulldogs 21
Other top G5 vs. G5 Match-ups
Aside from the Troy-Boise State game, there are five other out-of-conference G5 vs. G5 match-ups that I believe will be close.
Thursday, Aug. 31st
Florida International at Central Florida—This all Florida “Golden” match-up very well could come down to the last minutes to decide this one. I think the home team, however, will have enough firepower to claim the win. Knights 36 Golden Panthers 30
Louisiana-Monroe at Memphis—Both teams are projected in the middle of their respective conferences—Sun Belt for the Warhawks and AAC for the Tigers. I like the Liberty Bowl home field advantage though in this one. Tigers 44 Warhawks 38
Friday, Sept. 1st
Navy at Florida Atlantic—The Lane Kiffin era gets started for the Owls in this one against one of the best coaches in the country in the Midshipmen’s Ken Niumatalolo. I like the option attack to win out in this one. Midshipmen 35 Owls 28
Saturday, Sept. 2nd
Miami (OH) at Marshall—The RedHawks are one of the top MAC programs this year but must travel to the Thundering Herd. I think the road team picks up this one. RedHawks 27 Thundering Herd 20
UMass (0-1) at Coastal Carolina—The Minutemen were hardluck losers last week to Hawaii at home. Now UMass will travel to CCU for the Chanticleers first ever full FBS game. That is too much to overcome for UMass. Chanticleers 39 Minutemen 31
And the Rest of the G5
Here are the other match-ups involving G5 teams with just a pick in BOLD.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States– the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.
Originally from LaMoure, North Dakota, Kent is a 1996 graduate of North Dakota State University. His prior writing experience is over 15 years having previously worked with D2football.com, I-AA.org, and College Sporting News before coming to College Sports Journal in 2016. His main focus is college football in the western half of the United States-- the Big Sky Conference and Missouri Valley Football Conference within the Division I FCS. And in 2017, he began also to look at the FBS Group of Five conferences of the American Athletic, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West, and Sun Belt.