Highlights: CSJ FBS Group of Five Top Five Games and Recap of Week 11

First off, the College Football Playoff rankings were out last Tuesday for the first rankings of the season. For those of us that follow the Group of Five, it had to be somewhat disheartening to see one of the best G5 teams in the CFP era ranked at #6 to start the rankings.

But this is where Cincinnati was ranked. It defeated what the committee felt as the #10 team in Notre Dame on the road as right now the signature win for the Bearcats. Below is the full Top 25 rankings. There will be five more rankings before the four teams to play in the playoff are selected.

Through Games OCT. 30, 2021

RANKSCHOOLRECORD
1Georgia8-0
2Alabama7-1
3Michigan State8-0
4Oregon7-1
5Ohio State7-1
6Cincinnati8-0
7Michigan7-1
8Oklahoma9-0
9Wake Forest8-0
10Notre Dame7-1
11Oklahoma State7-1
12Baylor7-1
13Auburn6-2
14Texas A&M6-2
15BYU7-2
16Ole Miss6-2
17Mississippi State5-3
18Kentucky6-2
19NC State6-2
20Minnesota6-2
21Wisconsin5-3
22Iowa6-2
23Fresno State7-2
24San Diego State7-1
25Pittsburgh6-2

There are three other G5 schools in the first rakings and above these are the teams in bold.

After this week, Cincinnati will be helped with Michigan State losing to Purdue so the Bearcats are likely to move up to the #5 spot. Also, Wake Forest lost to North Carolina so that should move Notre Dame up after the Irish beat Navy this week.

As for the Bearcats this week, they got to host ESPN Gameday with a rematch of the American Athletic Conference title game from a year ago against Tulsa. The Bearcats may have been distracted with the media attention this week as Cincinnati struggled with the sub-500 Golden Hurricane.

Cincinnati’s defense stepped up in the biggest moments, stopping upset-minded Tulsa twice on goal-line stands in the final two minutes of a 28-20 victory. A critical fumble from Golden Hurrican RB Steven Anderson as he crossed the goal line was recovered by the Bearcats, preserving their ninth straight win to stay unbeaten.

Cincinnati had plenty of opportunities to put Tulsa away. At the beginning of the fourth quarter and up 28-12, the Bearcats had the ball at their own 32-yard line, but went three and out. Then, after a great defensive stand, QB Desmond Ridder fumbled the ball on the first play to give Tulsa another chance.

The Golden Hurricane outgained Cincinnati 457-390, rushed for 5.2 yards per carry and posted 297 total rushing yards against the Bearcats’ elite rushing defense. See highlights of this game below:

But the Bearcats will still have some chances to impress the CFP committee with a home game with SMU and a likely AAC title game that is looking more and more likely to be against at current one-loss Houston.

Where’s the other undefeated G5 Team?

For some reason, UTSA is not in the CPF top 25 right now. UTSA is the only other G5 undefeated team and now is just one of four undefeated teams in all of the FBS.

Of course, this likely will change as the Roadrunners continue to win. UTSA, which was incorrectly called USTA by CFP Committee Chairman Gary Barta on the ESPN broadcast this past week, kept on winning this week and will likely be in the Top 25 rankings this week.

RB Sincere McCormick racked up 169 rushing yards and a touchdown, while QB Frank Harris accounted for four total scores, to lead UTSA to an easy victory 44-23 at UTEP this week. With the win, the Roadrunners improved to 9-0, extending their school-record start to the season. See highlights of this game below:

Looking at G5 Conference Races

With just three regular season weeks left, the winners of each G5 conference’s division are coming into focus. Here is a look at each conference race. Note that the AAC will send the top two team in the standings to its championship game, while the other four leagues will send each of their division winners. I also included the standing for the six independent schools below for comparison as well.

team logo

TEAMCONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
WLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
Houston6024215581352200W84040
Cincinnati501947690347134W95040
UCF4215813063292217W35013
SMU3218913972361231L24032
East Carolina321669754275216W24112
Tulsa2311415336215275L22313
Memphis2313013554286262W14113
Navy2413516827151274L11413
South Florida1413817027223309L22304
Temple146121136164331L42214
Tulane059919218245341L71305

team logo

CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
EASTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
Marshall411638163324171W43132
W. Kentucky4121612554372265W43222
FAU3215111454255200L14113
Charlotte3214017954232261W14113
Middle Tenn.2314215545263259L13015
Old Dominion2312413536232264W22214
FIU059722218210340L81404
CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
WESTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
UTSA502139890359173W94050
UAB411818863259201W12231
UTEP3212110963222207L24122
North Texas2311215136229283W21323
Rice2310214936174323L22214
Louisiana Tech1410115627244306L52205
Southern Miss055615718123272L71404

team logo

CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
EASTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
Kent St.4119219654285314W24014
Miami (Ohio)3213110345223213L13015
Buffalo2317116445303261L12322
Ohio2314914127204282W11413
Akron1410816427184342L31413
Bowling Green1414619536212275W11323
CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
WESTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
N. Illinois4116915663285304L13132
Ball St.3214312254227248W12232
C. Michigan3215314754274257W13123
E. Michigan3217115063314248W23132
Toledo2314812745277198L12322
W. Michigan2315316954262260L23222

team logo

CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
MOUNTAINWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
Utah St.4115715172286245W43240
Air Force3214511063248155L23230
Boise St.3214310154274188W21341
Colorado St.2312810636208202L31323
New Mexico145513936129235L12313
Wyoming14699954207192W13222
CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
WESTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
San Diego St.411077481254150W14140
Nevada4118512672328219W25022
Fresno St.4215714973329227L14132
San Jose St.3312213255214230L13124
Hawai’i149814346273322L23214
UNLV1412516118188305W10414

team logo

CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
EASTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
App. St.4119512672326210W34022
C. Carolina412019281383156W25031
Troy3213314054236196W13123
Georgia St.3213711745208262L12223
Ga. Southern1513917827185286L42304
CONFERENCEOVERALLHOMEAWAY
WESTWLPFPAWLPFPASTRKWLWL
Louisiana601839581277171W85031
Texas St.2310415436202301W12313
UL-Monroe2414424745197327L24104
South Alabama2417615254257199L14113
Arkansas St.0510721818234387L81404

team logo

TEAMWLPFPASTRKWLWL
BYU82333243W35121
Liberty73351187L14033
Army53263208W13112
Massachusetts18142405L31404
New Mexico St.18208343L51305
Connecticut18146324L11404

Conference Realignment

This has become a weekly segment this year and this week was no different. After losing several schools, C-USA this week officially offered invitations to four schools–two current FBS independents in Liberty and New Mexico State and two FCS schools in Jacksonville State and Sam Houston State.

Here is a look at what the Group of Five Conference will look like in 2023 when the the realignment takes place. Remember, Cincinnati, Houston, and UCF will be leaving the the AAC, along with current independent BYU for the Big 12 Conference as well.

AMERICAN

Leaving: Cincinnati, Houston, UCF

Joining: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas, Rice, UAB, UTSA

2023 Lineup: Charlotte, East Carolina, Florida Atlantic, Memphis, Navy, North Texas, Rice, SMU, South Florida, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UAB, UTSA

All six schools that are joining the American are moving from Conference USA.

CONFERENCE USA

Leaving: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, Marshall, North Texas, Old Dominion, Rice, Southern Miss, UAB, UTSA

Joining: Liberty, New Mexico State, Jacksonville State, Sam Houston

2023 Lineup: FIU, Jacksonville State, Liberty, Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, New Mexico State, Sam Houston, UTEP, WKU

The six schools leaving Conference USA will each join the American. Liberty and New Mexico State are currently FBS Independents, while Jacksonville State (ASUN) and Sam Houston (WAC) will move up from the FCS.

Middle Tennessee and WKU have been rumored to make a move to the MAC.

MAC

Leaving: None

Joining: None

2023 Lineup: Akron, Ball State, Bowling Green, Buffalo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo, Western Michigan

Middle Tennessee and WKU have been rumored to make a move to the MAC.

MOUNTAIN WEST

Leaving: None

Joining: None

2023 Lineup: Air Force, Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, San Diego State, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming

Air Force and Colorado State considered a move to the American, but decided to remain in the Mountain West.

SUN BELT

Leaving: None

Joining: James Madison, Marshall, Old Dominion, Southern Miss

2023 Lineup: Appalachian State, Arkansas State, Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, James Madison, Louisiana, Marshall, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Southern Miss, Texas State, Troy, ULM

G5 INDEPENDENTS

Leaving: BYU, Liberty, New Mexico State

Joining: None

2023 Lineup: Army, UConn, UMass

BYU is leaving for the Big 12, while Liberty and New Mexico State will join Conference USA.

Top Five Games of the Week

1. Army 21 Air Force 14 (OT) (Arlington, Tex.)

2. Charlotte 31 Rice 24 (OT) (Charlotte, N.C.)

3. Louisiana 21 Georgia State 17 (Lafayette, La.)

4. UCF 14 Tulane 10 (Orlando, Fla.)

5. Ohio 35 Miami (OH) 33 (Athens, Ohio)

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