It was Rivalry Week in College Football, including the Group of Five. During the Week we saw the following breakdown of games:
- 29 G5 Conference Games
- 1 G5 vs P5 Game
- 3 G5 vs G5 Non-Conference Games
The final four spots in championship week were collected and home field decided in a couple of races. In the AAC Cincinnati completed an undefeated regular season and will host Houston for the AAC Championship. Conference USA’s West division champ UT San Antonio suffered their first defeat, but it did not impact their hosting of the CUSA Championship against the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. The Hilltoppers extended their winning streak to 7 games with a huge victory over Marshall to wrap up the East title.
Kent State won a wild one over Miami (OH) 48-47 to win the East Division of the MAC and earn a spot in the MAC Championship against Norther Illinois. The MAC Championship is held at Ford Field in Detroit. In the Mountain West, Utah State emerged from a tightly packed group to claim the Mountain Division title and to earn a trip to face the West Champion San Diego State Aztecs in San Diego.
In the Sunbelt, Louisiana will host Appalachian State in a rematch of the 2018 and 2019 Sunbelt Championships (both won by Appalachian State in Boone, NC). Both teams tuned up with wins over traditional rivals. Louisiana beating UL Monroe 21-16 and App State handling Georgia Southern 27-3.
Brigham Young ran its record to 5-0 versus the PAC-12 this year with a 34-31 win over Southern California.
Old Dominion. After losing to Western Kentucky, the Monarchs were 1-6 and the preseason predictions of last place in the CUSA East seemed totally accurate. The Monarchs won a 3-point decision over Louisiana Tech the next week and never looked back. They won their next four games by an average of 16 points to finish 6-6 and bowl eligible.
North Texas. The Mean Green, like ODU, started 1-6. Their opening schedule was a stout. In fact, in our preseason prediction, we stated “a 1-5 start isn’t an unreasonable expectation.” But the Mean Green stayed focused and picked up an overtime win over Rice. A win over Southern Miss followed. They then knocked off 6-3 UTEP before an easy win over FIU. This set up a home game against undefeated and nationally ranked UT San Antonio. The Mean Green responded with 340 yards rushing and a dominating 45-23 win for their fifth in a row and bowl eligibility.
Utah State. A week after appearing as a “Loser”, the Aggies rebounded with a win over New Mexico to finish the season 9-3 and claim the Mountain Division of the Mountain West. After an abysmal 2020 season, Blake Anderson injected enthusiasm and some much-needed offense into the Aggie program. As a result, the Aggies completed a very surprising “worst to first” season in the Mountain Division. Anderson certainly has our vote of coach of the year in the MWC.
Florida Atlantic. The Owls were 5-3 after beating UTEP on October 30. They needed only one more win to become bowl eligible. Instead, they dropped 4 straight games, all by double digits to finish 5-7 and out of bowl contention. It was a poor finish for a team we expected to contend for the CUSA East crown.
Massachusetts, Florida International, & Connecticut. All three finished the season at 1-11 with losses in week 13. UMass was the only one of the three with an FBS win (over Connecticut). However, UMass lost every other game by an average margin of 46-15. Included in those losses was two defeats by FCS teams. Florida International and UConn both had two games decided by less than one score. However, neither had an FBS win. It will be a long off-season for all three programs and their fans. But the great thing about college football is there is always next season.
G5 Gurus Top 20 following Week 13.
In the G5 Guru Top 20, the top spot remains firmly with Cincinnati. However, with their loss UT San Antonio tumbles 4 spots to #6. Louisiana slides up one spot to #2, Houston moves to #3, BYU to #4, and San Diego State rounds out the top 5. 7-10 remain the same with App State, Fresno State, Coastal Carolina, and Army all winning. SMU’s loss to Tulsa drops them 4 spots to #15. Air Force moves into #11, followed by Utah State, Western Kentucky, UCF, and Nevada. Boise State drops to 17 after losing to San Diego State. Northern Illinois comes in behind Boise after a lopsided loss to Western Michigan. UAB re-enters the rankings at #19 and Central Michigan debuts at #20.
|San Diego State||MWC||12-2|
|Texas San Antonio||CUSA||12-2|