The Group of Five schools are now starting to get into conference action. There are several intriguing match-ups this Saturday but none that are the definite game of the week. Because of this, I will offer my predictions on all the Sagrain Top 25 teams match-ups this week.
Looking at this Top 25 rankings there are four match-ups between Top 25 teams this week (although one was already played Thursday).
I will do things a little different this week and provide my picks for all Top 25 ranked teams in the Sagrain G5 poll.
Things to keep in mind are the New Year’s Day Bowl bid for these teams. With UCF losing last week, this opens things up a bit with Boise State and Appalachian State seem like the logical choices. However, SMU or Memphis also could be in the mix from the AAC.
- UCF (3-1) vs. UConn — The Knights open the AAC schedule with an easy opponent and get the victory easily. UCF 49 UConn 14
- Boise State (4-0) — BYE
- Utah State (2-1) vs. Colorado State — The Aggies get the Rams at home and should take care of them easily. USU 44 CSU 28
- Appalachian State (3-0) vs. Coastal Carolina — This is an interesting match-up. Both squads have defeated P5 teams with App State getting North Carolina last week and CCU getting Kansas a couple of weeks ago. The home field will help the Mountaineers here and get a narrow win. App State 36 CCU 31
- Memphis (3-0) Defeated #15 Navy 35-23 Thursday
- SMU (4-0) — BYE
- Tulane (3-1) — BYE
- Cincinnati (2-1) at 17 Marshall —Both teams are coming off bye weeks following victories, as Cincinnati downed Miami (Ohio) 35-13 and Marshall edged Ohio 33-31. The Bearcats are the stronger team and will show it late in the game. Cincinnati 34 Marshall 31
- Fresno State (1-2) at New Mexico State –THe Bulldogs travel to the Aggies after Fresno State won its first game last week over FCS Sacramento State. They will make it two wins in a row and in a big way. FSU 45 NMSU 20
- Toledo (2-1) vs. 22 BYU–These two teams last met in 2016 in Provo and BYU used a last-second field goal to win a wild 55-53 game. This game likely will not be as high scoring but Toledo has a stronger offense while BYU has a strong defense so something has to give. The Cougars more on its resume so far and look like the better team. BYU 31 Toledo 26
- Air Force (2-1) vs. San Jose State (Friday)
- Louisiana (3-1) at Georgia Southern–Outside of a 10-point loss to Mississippi State to begin the season, the Cajuns have been on a tear during this three-game winning streak, scoring at least 35 points in wins over Liberty, Texas Southern and Ohio. Georgia Southern lost big at LSU, defeated FCS Maine, and two weeks ago had Minnesota on the ropes before falling late. The Cajuns look too strong so far this year despite this being in Statesboro. Louisiana 44 Georgia Southern 31
- San Diego State (3-1) — BYE
- Houston (1-3) at 22 North Texas–The big news out of Houston was several players deciding to redshirt the rest of the year including QB D’Eriq King. The Green Wave will use this to their advantage and pull out a close home win. UNT 33 Houston 27
- Navy (2-0) Lost to #5 Memphis 35-23 Thursday
- Western Michigan (2-2) vs. Central Michigan–Both teams come into this Victory Cannon Trophy game at 2-2. These two teams look almost like mirror images of each other. In this case, the home team gets the advantage. WMU 31 CMU 28
- Marshall (2-1) vs. 8 Cincinnati (SEE ABOVE)
- Temple (2-1) vs. Georgia Tech —The Owls host the ACC’s Yellow Jackets in a late G5 vs. P5 match-up. Georgia Tech lost the last time they were out to FCS The Citadel. The Owls win this one but will be tight. Temple 24 Georgia Tech 21
- Wyoming (3-1) vs. UNLV–Wyoming lost its winning streak last week in its loss at Tulsa. UNLV’s lone win is over FCS Southern Utah and has two blowout losses to Northwestern and Arkansas State. Laramie will be buzzing after the Cowboys win big in this one. Wyoming 35 UNLV 17
- Ohio (1-3) — BYE
- BYU (2-2) at 10 Toledo (SEE ABOVE)
- North Texas (2-2) vs. 14 Houston (SEE ABOVE)
- Army West Point (3-1) — BYE
- Troy (2-1) vs. Arkansas State–This was expected to be a huge divisional crossover game between two Sun Belt teams that could meet again for the confrence title. Troy has been better so far this season but this will still be a tight contest. Troy 33 ASU 27
- Southern Miss (2-2) vs. UTEP–The Golden Eagles were throttled last week by Alabama but will have the opposite spectrum of the the FBS this week and might just do the throttling this week versus the UTEP Miners. USM 40 UTEP 14
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.
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