Highlights: CSJ FBS Group of Five Top Five Games and Recap of Week 10

Houston KR Marcus Jones (black uniform) returns a kick off for 100 yards for the winning touchdown against the Southern Methodist. Houston defeating SMU 44-37 as a result of the play. Courtesy of Houston Chronicle

And there were two left.  That is that there are only two undefeated teams left in the Group of Five after this week. 

The week entered with four undefeated teams in the G5 but two went down this weekend. 

SMU played at Houston and the Mustangs tied the game at 37-37 with 30 seconds to go in the game with a 45-yard field goal from kicker Blake Mazza. On the ensuing kickoff, however, Houston returner Marcus Jones would make possibly the play of the weekend. 

Jones received the kick in the end zone, found an opening, brushed by a few would-be tacklers and was gone. He ran the ball 100 yards for the game-winning touchdown. SMU would be unable to tie the game on their final drive and the Cougars won the game 44-37. 

Houston now has the inside track to play in the AAC title game after staying undefeated in AAC play.  The Cougars lone loss on the season was an opening weekend loss to Texas Tech. 

See the full highlights of this game below.

The other undefeated team that fell this weekend was San Diego State.  The Aztecs had used its defense all season long to stay in the win column but this weekend’s game at home. 

The Bulldogs won the game 30-20 while playing without injured leading RB Ronnie Rivers and losing leading WR Jalen Cropper with a knee injury in the third quarter. The Bulldogs still had QB Jake Haener, RB Jordan Mims and a defense that forced three turnovers to aid in the victory. 

Mims led the Bulldogs’ offense in the victory over the Aztecs’, rushing for 186 yards and two touchdowns including the clincher on a 15-yard burst with 4:28 to go.

The win propels the Bulldogs into the lead of the MWC West Division as they have now the tie-breaker over both SDSU and Nevada, who the Bulldogs defeated last weekend.

See highlights of this game below:

The one team to stay undefeated and looks ripe to be ranked in the Top Four of all of college football is Cincinnati.  The Bearcats shrugged off a close win a week ago over Navy to handle Tulane on the road with relative ease. 

After holding a narrow 14-12 lead at halftime at the Green Wave, QB Desmond Ridder and the Bearcats scored 17 unanswered points in the second half to secure a 31-12 win

Ridder threw for 227 yards (139 yards in the second half), three touchdowns and an interception. The fifth-year senior completed two touchdowns to TE Josh Whyle and another to RB Jerome Ford, who also had a rushing score.

See highlights of this game below:

The only other undefeated team in the G5 now is UTSA.  The Roadrunners had the week off this week and will play at UTEP in Conference USA play next week. 

Conference Realignment Latest

The big news this week in the ever changing  was that that Conference USA to be quite honest may be on life-support right now to stay alive. 

After a week ago, the AAC grabbed six current C-USA teams in Charlotte, UAB, Rice, Florida Atlantic, UTSA, and North Texas. 

This week, the Sun Belt is grabbing Southern Miss, Old Dominion, and Marshall to go possibly with FCS power James Madison, who has to get Virginia state approval yet but seems destined to be the 14th school in the SBC.

All changes are expected to start at the 2023 season.    

Conference USA has now lost nine of its 14 teams to conference realignment, leaving the league with only Louisiana Tech, UTEP, FIU, Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky.

And that might not be the end.  The Mid-America Conference, who is currently with 12 schools is possibly looking at two more of the C-USA schools in Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky according to several reports

The C-USA may be looking at three independents in UConn, New Mexico State and Liberty as possible additions.  UConn would be for football only while the other two would be for all sports. 

The C-USA likely will also need to look at FCS schools with Sam Houston being one of the top contenders per other reports to stay afloat. 

More news is likely to come on the expansion front in the coming week and where it might end is anyone’s guess but will dramatically change how the Group of Five looks.

TOP FIVE GAMES OF THE WEEK

Aside from the action above, the Group of Five had several close contests this week. Here are my Top Five games of the Week with a bonus selection as well.

1. North Texas 30 Rice 24 (OT) (Houston, TEX.)

2. Old Dominion 23 Louisiana Tech 20 (Norfolk, Va.)

3. Navy 20 Tulsa 17 (Tulsa, Okla.)

4. Florida Atlantic 28 UTEP 25 (Boca Raton, Fla.)

5. Georgia State 21 Georgia Southern 14 (Statesboro, Ga.)

BONUS: Coastal Carolina 35 Troy 28 (Conway S.C.)

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