Around the Group of Five: Sept. 20
The Group of Five conferences will probably not be in the College Football Playoff this year, but that does not take away from all of the exciting games the conferences have to offer, and it was no different last week.
App State hosted College Gameday, and the atmosphere in Boone, North Carolina, was electric for the Mountaineers' matchup against Troy. It took a Chase Brice Hail Mary touchdown to Christan Horn to secure an incredible 32-28 win over the Trojans.
App State is in a great position to compete for the bid for a New Year’s Six bowl game and is in a great position to compete and win the Sun Belt this year.
Sticking in the Sun Belt, the Old Dominion Monarchs traveled to Charlottesville, Virginia, to take on the Cavaliers in an in-state battle. The Monarchs were looking to knock off another Power Five opponent but fell short as Virginia kicker Brendan Farrell nailed a 26-yard field goal as time expired to defeat Old Dominion 16-14.
Old Dominion was caught up in a social media frenzy before the game, as their unofficial mascot Hudson, a service dog in training, was not going to be allowed on the field for the game between the Monarchs and the Cavaliers.
After a lot of push on Twitter by fans, Hudson was allowed onto the field for the game to support his Old Dominion team.
These conferences are always good for a few upsets a week, and this week was no different as the MAC’s Eastern Michigan went on the road and knocked off Arizona State 30-21. The most surprising part of the game may be the Eagles recording 305 yards on the ground against the Sun Devils.
One team that has not lived up to its preseason expectations is the Houston Cougars. The Cougars were most people’s favorites to represent the Group of Five in the New Year’s Six, but Dana Holgorsen’s squad is 1-2 and struggling in all three games this year.
Following a 48-30 loss to Kansas, it is interesting to see where the Cougars go and if they can weather the storm to get back on track when American conference play kicks off.
A game to highlight for week 4 is when the Cincinnati Bearcats welcome Indiana this week. The Bearcats were a Playoff team a year ago and are 2-1 in 2022, with their only loss coming to No. 10 Arkansas on the road in week 1.
Cincinnati is probably not making the Playoff this year, but have the ability to put their name firmly in the race for the New Year’s Six spot if they defeat undefeated Indiana on Saturday.
Another American team looking for a big win this weekend is undefeated Tulane, as they welcome in Southern Miss on Saturday. Tulane should be okay against Southern Miss, but the surprise is that the Green Wave are 3-0 and are very hot.
The Green Wave had two dominating wins over UMass and Alcorn State and then played phenomenal and upset Kansas State last week, 17-10. Tulane is off to an incredible start and should be considered a contender in the American this season.
The Group of Five is wide open for three weeks, and it should be very interesting to see what happens as the season moves on.
Adam Sheetz is a third-year majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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