Around the Group of 5: Week 15 (Football)
The Group of Five is still surging on, and the group may have received their best win of the season this past weekend.
Coastal Carolina pulled off a huge win last Saturday, as it defeated No. 13 BYU 22-17 in arguably the best game of the year. The Chanticleers rushed for 281 yards and won the turnover battle to get the win. They stopped the Cougars one-yard short on the final play to secure the upset.
The Chanticleers travel to Troy on Saturday to face the USC Trojans in their final regular season game of the season. The Chanticleers moved up to No. 13 in the Playoff rankings this week, and look to keep rising with the chance of becoming the Group of Five representative with the New Year’s Six still in sight.
The other team threatening in the Sun Belt is Louisiana-Lafayette. The Ragin’ Cajuns got a huge win last Friday, knocking off Appalachian State 24-21. The Cajuns are 9-1 and ranked No. 19 in the College Football Playoff rankings.
The Cajuns have a date with Coastal Carolina in the Sun Belt championship game on Dec. 19. That game might be the biggest game in recent memory in the Sun Belt, and the Cajuns will look to avenge their only loss on the season in the title game.
The Mountain West race is beginning to heat up as the season winds down. The conference has three teams that are either undefeated or have one loss. San Jose State leads the conference with a perfect 5-0 record.
The Spartans have their biggest game of the 2020 season on Friday night, as they face the 6-1 Nevada Wolf Pack. This game has the potential to decide who will play in the Mountain West title game on Dec. 19. The Spartans and Wolf Pack both have aspirations of being conference champs, and this game will be crucial for both teams in their quest for the Mountain West crown.
Conference-USA clinched a huge upset this past Saturday, as the Rice Owls shut out No. 20 Marshall 20-0 on the road. The Thundering Herd looked like a lock for the conference title, but now must beat Charlotte on Friday night to hold off Florida Atlantic.
Rice has struggled for a long time, but the Owls got a huge win over Marshall. The win does not affect the Owls’ spot in the conference, but a big win on the road is a win that head coach Mike Bloomgren can build off of to get the Owls back on track in Conference-USA.
The MAC will have its biggest game of the 2020 season on Saturday when the Ball State Cardinals and the Western Michigan Broncos face off. These two teams sit at the top of the MAC-West division, and this game will decide who represents the division in the title game.
The Cardinals have been anchored by great quarterback play from senior Drew Plitt. Plitt is coming off of an incredible 366 passing yards and four touchdown performance in the Cardinals’ 45-20 win over Central Michigan.
The Broncos have been led by sophomore quarterback Kaleb Eleby, who is having a strong season. Eleby has a tremendous 16 touchdowns in 2020, and only one interception. This game will decide the winner of the MAC-West, and the quarterbacks will be a huge factor in the outcome of this game.
The American conference title game is set, as No. 8 Cincinnati will face off against No. 24 Tulsa in a huge showdown on Dec. 19. The Bearcats are the favorites out of the Group of Five to make the New Year’s Six, but they need to win out to ensure their spot.
The eyes of the entire college football world will be on this game, as Cincinnati’s hopes for a chance to compete against a Power Five opponent will rest on this game.
As the college football season winds down, the conference title games are being set as well. This week will be huge in the Group of Five to find out what teams will be competing for a championship next week.
So buckle up, as the race to championship weekend heats up in a huge weekend for every team in the Group of Five.
Adam Sheetz is a freshman majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email email@example.com.