Group of Five 2021-22 Bowl Second Half Recap & Highlights

The bowl season after the first weekend looked much like it did in the 2020-21 season as we saw several games canceled or opponents displaced because of the COVID-19 outbreaks amongst the teams. In fact, five bowl games were altogether canceled this season including four that involved Group of Five squads.

But the big story this year was Cincinnati getting its spot in the College Football Playoff as the last remaining undefeated team. The Bearcats would fit hard but could not overcome a talented squad in Alabama in the Cotton Bowl to fall 27-6.

Some say that Cincinnati did not belong in the Final Four but the Bearcats actually held Alabama to their closest margin of victory in the Crimson Tide’s last five match-ups in the CFP semifinals. Plus, the Big Ten champion Michigan lost by a larger margin to the the team Alabama beat in the SEC title game in Georgia, 34-11. So the CFP national title will again be two SEC schools.

While the loss in the CFP was not a good thing for the Group of Five, the G5 saw success in other Power Five match-ups. In fact, the G5 would win all other six match-ups this year. This included UCF over Florida, Utah State over Oregon State, Army over Missouri, Houston over Auburn, Air Force over Louisville, and Central Michigan over Washington State.

The bowl challenge given to the conference that had the best record in the bowls has the following standings with one bowl games (Texas Bowl: Kansas State vs. LSU). The Mountain West Conference will win the trophy as the best conference record. And two other G5 leagues in the AAC and Sun Belt were tied for second.

ConferenceRecordWinsLossesRemaining Teams
Mountain West Conference (MWC)
5-1Fresno State, Utah State, Wyoming, San Diego State, Air Force Nevada
American Athletic Conference (AAC)3-1Tulsa, UCF, HoustonCincinnati
Sun Belt Conference3-1 Coastal Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia State Appalachian State
Big 12 Conference 4-2Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, BaylorWest Virginia, Iowa StateKansas State
Big Ten Conference 6-4Minnesota, Maryland, Purdue, Michigan State, Wisconsin, Ohio State Rutgers, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa
Independents 2-2Liberty, Army BYU, Notre Dame
Southeastern Conference (SEC) 5-6South Carolina, Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas, Kentucky Missouri, Florida, Auburn, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Ole MissLSU
Conference USA3-5Middle Tennessee State, Western Kentucky, UABUTEP, Marshall, Old Dominion, UTSA, North Texas
Mid-American Conference (MAC)3-5
Miami (Ohio), Western Michigan, Central Michigan
Toledo, Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Ball State
Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)2-4
Clemson, Wake Forest
Louisville, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh
Pacific-12 Conference (Pac-12)0-5Oregon State, Oregon, Arizona State, Washington State, Utah

I looked at the first weekend of bowls previously and here are highlights and recaps of the remaining bowls involving Group of Five teams:

MYRTLE BEACH BOWL (CONWAY, S.C.) MON, DEC. 20
TULSA 30 OLD DOMININON 17

FAMOUS IDAHO POTATO BOWL (BOISE, IDAHO) TUES, DEC. 21
WYOMING 52 KENT STATE 38

TROPICAL SMOOTHIE CAFE FRISO BOWL (FRISCO, TEX.) TUES, DEC. 21
SAN DIEGO STATE 38 UTSA 24

LOCKHEED MARTIN ARMED FORCES BOWL (FORT WORTH, TEX.) WED, DEC. 22
ARMY 24 MISSOURI 22

FRISCO FOOTBALL CLASSIC (FRISCO, TEX.) THURS, DEC. 23
MIAMI (OH) 27 NORTH TEXAS 14

UNION HOME MORTGAGE GASPARILLA BOWL (TAMPA, FLA.) THURS, DEC. 23
UCF 29 FLORIDA 17

TAX ACT CAMELLIA BOWL (MOBILE, ALA.) SAT, DEC. 25
GEORGIA STATE 51 BALL STATE 20

QUICK LANE BOWL (DETROIT, MICH.) MON, DEC. 27
WESTERN MICHIGAN 52 NEVADA 24

TICKETSMARTER BIRMINGHAM BOWL (BIRMINGHAM, ALA.) TUES, DEC. 28
HOUSTON 17 AUBURN 13

SERVPRO FIRST RESPONDERS BOWL (DALLAS, TEX.) TUES, DEC. 28
AIR FORCE 31 LOUISVILLE 28

TONY THE TIGER SUN BOWL (EL PASO, TEX.) FRI, DEC. 31
CENTRAL MICHIGAN 24 WASHINGTON STATE 21

CFP SEMIFINAL: GOODYEAR COTTON BOWL (ARLINGTON, TEX.) FRI, DEC. 31
#1 ALABAMA 27 #4 CINCINNATI 6

CANCELED BOWL GAMES:

The following are the bowl games that were canceled due to COVID-19 protocols against at least one of the teams playing in the game.

Dec. 24: Hawai’i Bowl — Hawai’i vs. Memphis

Dec. 27: Military Bowl — Boston College vs. East Carolina

Dec. 28: Holiday Bowl — NC State vs. UCLA

Dec. 29: Fenway Bowl — Virginia vs. SMU

Dec. 31: Arizona Bowl — Boise State vs. Central Michigan (CMU moved to Sun Bowl due to Miami (FL) not being able to play in that bowl)

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