Highlights: CSJ FBS Group of Five Top Ten Games and Recap of Week 12
November 18, 2018
UCF got the highlight game with its game against Cincinnati, which was nationally televised Saturday night. The Knights won the game and by doing so, also wrapped up the American Athletic Conference West Division crown.
Other Group of Five division winners were also crowned this past week. Northern Illinois even though it lost to Miami (OH), won the MAC West crown when Western Michigan’s lost to Ball State . Fresno State defeated San Diego State and wrapped up the Mountain West West Division. UAB had already wrapped up the Conference USA West Division last week but lost at the SEC’s Texas A&M.
Several other races will go down to the last week.
Utah State won but controversially at Colorado State after the Rams looked like a hail mary pass looked like it beat the Aggies but after video review, it was found that the reciever that caught the ball stepped out of bounds making him ineligible to catch the pass.
The win as well as Boise State’s win over New Mexico will make basically a Mountain West Mountain Division title game when Utah State travels to Boise next week.
That will not be the only such contest within the Group of Five. Troy and Appalachian State have the same scenario next week for the Sun Belt East Division and Memphis and Houston have this in the AAC West Division.
Below are all the scenarios for each of the Group of Five conference divisions.
East UCF, 7-0 Temple, 6-1 Cincinnati, 5-2
UCF clinched the East with its win over Cincinnati on Saturday because it has a head-to-head tiebreaker over Temple. The Knights beat the Owls 52-40 earlier this season and because it has the better record and no way to be overtaken, UCF will host the AAC title game Dec. 1. Of course, UCF needs to win at USF next week to stay in the lead in the College Football Playoff Top 25 amongst the Group of Five rankings for the New Year’s Six Bowl bid (and outside chance of getting into the Top 4 for the playoff).
West Houston, 5-2 Memphis, 4-3 SMU, 4-3 Tulane, 4-3
Houston took the lead by beating Tulane and Memphis drew within a game by beating SMU. Both Memphis and Houston have all the tie-breakers against SMU and Tulane so next week’s game between the Cougars and Tigers will determine the West Division champion.
East Middle Tennessee, 6-1 Florida International, 6-1 Marshall, 5-2
FIU holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over MTSU thanks to a 24-21 win earlier in the season. The Panthers play Marshall and a victory seals the division. Marshall earlier lost to MTSU. MTSU finishes conference play against UAB, which has already wrapped up its division title.
If Marshall wins and MTSU loses to UAB, a three-way tie goes to winning percentage within the division. MTSU, at 5-1 in the division, would win that tiebreaker so the race can only be won by MTSU or FIU.
West UAB, 7-0
The Blazers have clinched the division and winning its last game over MTSU would result in UAB hosting the title game.
East Buffalo, 6-1 Ohio, 5-2 Miami (Ohio), 5-2
The Bulls could have clinched with a win over Ohio last Wednesday night but lost in a blowout. Buffalo still clinches the division with a win over Bowling Green. If Buffalo loses that game, and Ohio beats Akron and Miami beats Ball State, a three-way tie would occur. A three-way tie goes to Miami. Ohio would need to win and have both Buffalo and Miami to lose to win the division.
West Northern Illinois, 6-1
The Huskies clinched the division thanks to Western Michigan’s loss to Ball State on Tuesday night. NIU, however, lost to Miami on Wednesday night.
Mountain Utah State, 7-0 Boise State, 6-1
Utah State and Boise State play each other Nov. 24. The winner will take the Mountain Division.
West Fresno State, 6-1 Nevada, 5-2
Fresno State beat San Diego State Saturday and it clinches the division thanks to a 21-3 win over Nevada earlier in the season.
The host for the MW title game will be Utah State if it wins and Fresno State will host Boise State if the Broncos beat the Aggies.
East Troy, 6-0 App State, 5-1
App State and Troy play each other on the final week of the season with the winner taking the East Division. The winner will also host the first ever Sun Belt championship game as it will have the best conference record.
West Louisiana-Monroe, 4-3 Louisiana-Lafayette, 4-3 Arkansas State, 4-3
ULM lost to Arkansas State Saturday and Louisiana-Lafayette beat South Alabama to set-up a three-way tie as we enter the final week. ULM plays ULL and provided Arkansas State beats Texas State, it would set up a two-way tie. A ULM win would give Arkansas State the tie-breaker but ULL holds the tie-breaker over the Red Wolves.
Army defeated FCS Colgate and moved to 9-2 overall heading into a two-week bye before playing Navy. BYU beat New Mexico State and became bowl eligible at 6-5 and play at rival Utah next weekend. Those two are the only two Group of Five Independents that will have bowl games this year.
Below are my top 10 games of the week–too many close games to pick just five this week. Click on the score for a detailed recap and the video link to see highlights.
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.