Around the Group of 5: Week 7

Story posted October 16, 2021 in Sports, CommRadio by Nolan Wick

At the halfway point through the season, multiple teams in the Group of 5 are currently ranked. Most do not have a realistic shot at the college football playoff, but one team has now entered the top four and may very well remain put.

There is still so much football to be played, so let’s analyze the current situation.

By far the most exciting team is No. 3 Cincinnati. The Bearcats earned a top four spot following a 52-3 thrashing of Temple. Senior quarterback Desmond Ridder had another terrific outing, with three touchdowns, 259 yards and completing 22-of-30 passes.

There is a very strong argument to be made that Cincinnati deserves its No. 3 ranking despite being in the American Athletic Conference. Cincinnati is undefeated, and it has wins against Notre Dame and Indiana this season.

Ridder is having another terrific season, and he has a great supporting offense around him. Meanwhile, the defense has remained impressive. Given Cincinnati’s strength on both sides of the ball, one could argue it is better than No. 2 Iowa.

The Bearcats will face Central Florida this Saturday. It will be a home game with kickoff set for 12:00 p.m.

The second highest-ranked team in the Group of 5 is No. 15 Coastal Carolina. The Chanticleers ravaged Arkansas State 52-20 last week on the road.

Quarterback Grayson McCall has impressed this season. McCall has 1478 yards with a 79.8 completion percentage, as well as 14 touchdowns.

With McCall under center, Coastal Carolina should continue its winning ways. Coastal Carolina’s next game is not until Oct. 20, when it will head to Appalachian State.

Looking at the Independent section, BYU is ranked No. 19 after losing to Boise State. BYU has had a strong first season without Zach Wilson, remaining in the top-25 for most of the year. BYU’s next game this week will be challenging, as it travels to Waco, Texas to take on Baylor.

Two more Group of 5 teams are ranked, with SMU at No. 23 and San Diego State directly behind the Mustangs at No. 24.

SMU is undefeated so far this season, as it has wins against Louisiana Tech and TCU. The Mustangs defeated Navy on the road last week and will look to take down Tulane at home on Oct. 21.

As for San Diego State, it too has been undefeated so far, including an upset against Utah. The Aztecs defeated New Mexico last week and will take on San Jose State tomorrow night at 10:30 p.m. ET.

 

Nolan Wick is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email nhw5046@psu.edu.