Around the Group of Five: Week 8
The Group of Five has provided yet another week of exciting, down-to-the-wire football and has one team that is very much alive in the race to make the College Football Playoffs.
The American Athletic Conference is probably the brightest spot in the Group of Five. The most notable team from this conference is No. 2 Cincinnati, who is looking to make its first ever playoff appearance. Last Saturday the Bearcats moved up to No. 2 after defeating unranked UCF by a score of 56-21. Cincinnati will look to keep its perfect season alive as it takes on Navy this weekend. No. 24 SMU is currently tied with Houston for the conference lead with a 3-0 record.
Conference USA saw a team jump into the AP Top 25 this week with that team being UTSA ranked No. 24. This ranking came after undefeated UTSA won in convincing fashion over Rice this past weekend 45-0. The Roadrunners travel to Louisiana Tech this weekend and will look to stay undefeated and in command of the Conference USA West, though they are currently tied for the lead with UTEP. In the east, it’s a three-way tie for the lead. FAU, Charlotte and Marshall are all tied with conference records of 2-1 and overall records of 4-3.
The Mid-American Conference does not have any ranked teams but still has a good bit of competition, nevertheless. In the east, Miami (Ohio) and Kent State are currently tied for the lead with conference records of 2-1. In the west, North Illinois has the conference lead with an undefeated, 3-0 conference record over 2-1 Ball State.
The Mountain West Conference continues to have one team in the Ap Top 25, with that team being San Diego State. The Aztecs, ranked No. 22 this week, are undefeated this season, a record that was almost blemished this past week against San Jose State, as they were able to scrape by in overtime, 19-13 on a 24-yard touchdown pass to Lucas Johnson. They continue to be on top of the west, but are tied with Nevada right now at 2-0. In the Mountain Conference, Colorado State leads Air Force with a record of 2-0.
The Sun Belt Conference kicked off the week with a nail-biting finish on Wednesday night between Appalachian State and No. 14 Coastal Carolina. The game was tied at 27 with just a few seconds on the clock when Appalachian State kicked a 24-yard field goal to win the game for the Mountaineers. The upset win made the race for the lead in the conference a three-way tie with Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina and Troy, all at 2-1. In the west, the University of Louisiana has a commanding lead of that division, as it has a 4-0 conference record. The second-place team, Texas State, is only 1-1 in the conference.
Be on the lookout for more great Group of Five games this weekend and make sure to tune in to see if Cincinnati can keep its playoff hopes alive as they take on Navy this Saturday.
Ethan Ellis is a first-year student majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ethan Ellis is a first year student at Penn State University. He is from the small town of Rocky Mount in the southern part of Virginia. He is currently majoring in broadcast journalism with a minor in sports studies and is work towards becoming and sports announcer for ESPN.