Four of the five Group of Five teams ranked teams won in Week 12. Cincinnati, who is currently is ranked as the highest ranked G5 team, had the toughest win this week over South Florida on the road. The Bearcats used a Sam Crosa field goal on the final play of the game, but Cincinnati defeated USF 20-17.
Navy was the lone team to lose this week of the Top Five ranked teams. The Midshipmen could not stop the #16 ranked Notre Dame passing attack in a 52-20 blowout loss in South Bend.
The other three G5 teams in the Top 25, however, had no issues.
Memphis won easily at Houston 45-27. QB Brady White picked apart the Cougar secondary for 341 yards passing and five touchdowns. He also added a 14-yard touchdown run as Memphis won its fourth straight game.
Boise State was the lone Top 25 G5 team to play at home and won easily despite not having its top two quarterbacks. Third-stringer Jaylon Henderson threw for 292 yards and three touchdowns to help Boise State blowout New Mexico 42-9.
Appalachian State was the newcomer (replacing SMU) to the Top 25 this past week. The Mountaineers started in a lull, however, and trailed Georgia State by as many as 14 points in the first quarter. However, App State outscored the Panthers 49-7 from the start of the second quarter to finish an easy win, 56-27.
Elsewhere, the Conference USA race, saw a very interesting match-up Friday with Louisiana Tech traveling to Marshall. The Bulldogs were playing without starters in QB J’Mar Smith, WR Adrian Hardy and LB James Jackson, who were suspended for the game for “athletic department policy violations” per a Louisiana Tech release. The missing pieces really showed as the Thundering Herd won easily 31-10 over a team that had not lost since its season opener. Those two right now look like they will play again in the CUSA title game, although Southern Miss is tied but Tech has the tie-breaker over Tech.
The MAC is starting to settle itself. In the East Division Miami (OH) has nearly clinched the division and a place in the conference title game. The West is a little more unsettled as Western Michigan and Central Michigan are tied atop the standings with WMU holding the tie-breaker due the Broncos winning the match-up earlier in the season.
The AAC is wide open in the West Division with Navy, Memphis and SMU all on top with a loss. Memphis lost to Navy but beat SMU, while SMU an Navy hosts SMU next week and Memphis has East Division leader Cincinnati in two weeks. The Bearcats have a two game lead but also play Temple this week, who is tied for second in the East standings and G5 second best ranked Memphis to end the season.
The Mountain West Mountain Division looks like Boise State’s to take but the Broncos do have two road games to end the regular season in Utah State and Colorado State. The MW West Divsion looks like San Diego State with a game lead but play at second in the rankings Hawai’i next week.
The Sun Belt East is also still up in the air as Appalachian State has a game lead over Georgia Southern but of course if the Mountaineers slip, the Eagles would have the tie-breaker with their win earlier. The Sun Belt West looks like Louisiana’s to win but the Ragin’ Cajuns and would have to lose their last two to not be its division’s representative in the Sun Belt title game.
For the G5 Independents, BYU and Liberty are now bowl-eligible. No other team can get to the six FBS win mark, including Army who has five wins but two were over FCS opponents.
Below are the standings for all the G5 conferences and independents:
Here are my Top Five games of the week with video highlights with a detailed game recap in the score link:
1. Cincinnati 20 South Florida 17 (Tampa, Fla.)
2. Western Michigan 37 Ohio 34 (OT) (Athens, Ohio)
3. Arkansas State 28 Coastal Carolina 27 (Jonesboro, Ark.)
4. Central Michigan 45 Ball State 44 (Muncie, Ind.)
5. Utah State 26 Wyoming 20 (Logan, Utah)
Other Games involving G5 College Football Playoff Top 25 Teams
Memphis 45 Houston 27 (Houston, Tex.)
Boise State 42 New Mexico 9 (Boise, Idaho)
Appalachian State 56 Georgia State 27 (Atlanta, Ga.)
Notre Dame 52 Navy 20 (South Bend, Ind.)
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 is the 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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