Around the Group of Five: Week 9
As the college football season presses on, division races around the Group of Five are heating up as the contenders look to separate themselves from the pretenders.
Cincinnati survives in Annapolis, remains ranked No. 2
The Cincinnati Bearcats are 7-0 -- barely. The No. 2 Bearcats entered their road game against the Navy Midshipmen (1-6, 1-4 American) as 28 point favorites.
They exited as seven-point victors following a nerve-wracking fourth quarter that saw them nearly surrender a 17 point lead.
Cincy went unpunished in the AP Top 25, retaining their No. 2 ranking. If the Bearcats can keep winning, they look like they have a real chance to be the first Group of Five team to make the College Football Playoff.
Unbeaten no longer: No. 14 Coastal Carolina falls to Appalachian State
Coastal Carolina’s Cinderella story came to an end against Appalachian State Wednesday night.
The Chanticleers entered the second quarter with a 14-0 lead but watched the wheels fall off their offense for the rest of the game. The Mountaineers rallied back, eventually booting a game-winning field goal.
It’s bad news for Coastal, as they dropped ten spots to No. 24 in the latest AP Poll.
On top of this, they may not even make the Sun Belt conference championship game.
Appalachian State now controls its own destiny in Group A thanks to their head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chanticleers.
Game of the Week: Fresno State @ No. 21 San Diego State
The Group of Five game to watch this week is the Fresno State Bulldogs @ No. 21 San Diego State Aztecs.
This is a game between the two best teams in the Mountain West Conference.
The Aztecs (7-0, 3-0 MWC) hope to defend their unbeaten record and get one step closer to a conference championship game berth.
For the Bulldogs (6-2, 3-1 MWC), the opportunity is there to pull an upset and maybe propel themselves back into the Top 25.
The feel-good story of the week: No. 23 UTSA continues to make history
How about those Roadrunners?
Last week, UTSA was ranked for the first time in program history.
This week, UTSA improved to 8-0 for the first time in their history.
This is quite the progress for a school that only began playing D1 football 11 years ago.
Now they have a nationally televised game to look forward to.
Their critical game against the UTEP Miners (6-1, 3-0 C-USA) will be airing on ESPN2 Nov. 6.
Get your popcorn ready.
Don’t forget about the MAC!
In a wild college football season, the state of affairs in the MAC has remained relatively unexciting.
They’re the only conference in the nation that does not have a ranked team at the moment, but they do play games on Tuesday, for what that’s worth.
Northern Illinois has been the best team so far, sitting atop the West division with a pristine 4-0 conference record.
In the East, Kent State and Miami (OH) are tied for first with 3-1 conference records.
Sam Woloson is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.