Week 4 in the Group of Five (G5) saw the following breakdown of games:
- 10 Power 5 (P5) versus G5
- 15 G5 vs G5 (including one independent vs independent)
- 5 G5 versus FCS
- 8 G5 Conference Games
The G5 went 2-8 against the Power 5, with Bowling Green shocking Minnesota on the road 14-10 and SMU holding off TCU 42-34 in a back-and-forth affair with over 1000 yards of total offense.
The G5 finished 5-0 for the week against FCS competition. For the season, this performance moved the G5’s record to 53-6 against the FCS.
In the G5 games, the MAC had a solid week going 5-1 against the other G5 conferences. The Mountain West was 3-2, while the Sunbelt finished 2-2 against fellow G5 conferences. CUSA finished 3-5 for the week, while the AAC and Independents ended 1-3.
Bowling Green. Things haven’t gone well for Bowling Green over the past five seasons. Entering the Minnesota game, the Falcons were 13-43 in their last 56 games. Despite being 30.5-point underdogs, they rode a stout defense to a shocking 14-10 victory, holding the Gophers scoreless in the fourth quarter. Next up is a MAC clash on the road against Kent State.
Louisiana-Monroe. Just like Bowling Green, the last couple of years had not been kind to the Warhawks. An 0-10 2020 season and 35-point road loss to Kentucky to open 2021 were not encouraging. A 5-point win over FCS Jackson State didn’t provide a ton of confidence. But the Warhawks came ready to play against long-time Sunbelt foe, Troy. Despite being nearly 24-point underdogs, the Warhawks controlled the game thought out and came away with a 29-16 win. In the game, QB Rhett Rodriguez suffered a severe chest trauma and remains hospitalized. We at G5 Gurus send along our wishes for a speedy recovery to Rhett.
Texas San Antonio. The Roadrunners have shown they are for real. Their 4-0 record now boasts a P5 win and a win over perennial AAC stalwart Memphis. The Roadrunners rallied from a 14-point deficit to hand the Tigers their first loss on Saturday. Sincere McCormick erupted for 184 yards on a whopping 42 carries to lead the Roadrunner’s comeback. Next up is another G5 non-conference clash, this time with UNLV.
SMU. In the 100th meeting with bitter rival, Texas Christian (TCU), the Mustangs came up big. Riding a balanced offensive attack (245 yards passing, 350 yards rushing), the Mustangs held on to top the Horned Frogs 42-34 and move to 4-0 on the season. Up next for the Mustangs is South Florida in an AAC matchup.
Western Michigan. The Broncos followed up their impressive road victory over Pittsburg with a convincing 23-3 win over last year’s MWC champ San Jose State. It has tale of home and away for the Broncos defense thus far this season. They allowed 44 points a game in away games against Michigan (loss) and Pittsburg (win). However, they have played lights out in home wins against Illinois State and San Jose State, giving up a total of 3 points. This week is an away matchup at Buffalo. Will the trend continue?
The integrity of the SEC officiating. Auburn, trailing 24-19 against Georgia State faced a first and 10 at the Georgia State 30 with 1:19 to go. TJ Finley threw to John Shenker for a 19-yard gain to the Georgia State 11. However, replays CLEARLY showed the ball went through Shenker’s hands and hit the ground. It was an obviously reversal, but the SEC headquarters who reviewed the play allowed the call to stand. The Tigers would score on a fourth and 9 play with 45 seconds remaining and go on to win the game. This was one of the more blatant screw-ups in officiating the Gurus have witnessed in a long, long time.
North Texas. Last year the Mean Green scored more than 30 points in six of their nine regular season games. This year they have matched that total after only four games. The Mean Green is only averaging 11 points in their last three games (all losses). With Missouri and Marshall coming up in the next two weeks, it looks like tough sledding for the Mean Green.
Georgia Southern. The Chad Lunsford era is over in Statesboro. Lunsford was 26-17 at Georgia Southern including three straight bowl appearances. However, after a 1-3 start to the 2021 season and an embarrassing video released on Sunday (9/26/21) showing players riding on top of a moving bus and one chugging beer prior their Saturday game against Louisiana, Lunsford was fired. Georgia Southern football was one of the winningest programs in I-AA/FCS history, with six national championships from 1985-2000. They won 9 games in each of their first two seasons in the FBS before stumbling to losing records in 2016-2017. Lunsford returned the Eagles to winning ways with a 10-3 season in 2018 before dropping back to 7-6 and 8-5 respectively in 2019-2020. We don’t have the full story on why Lunsford was fired. However, the Eagles were competitive against a very good Louisiana team on Saturday before falling 28-20, dropping them to 1-3. Aside from the poor record and the video incident, fan support has waned for the Eagles. They currently rank 9th out of 10 Sunbelt teams in attendance and finished last in attendance in 2019.
G5 Gurus Top 20 following Week 4.
Cincinnati and BYU held onto their top two spots in the G5 Rankings. Liberty fell 7 spots after dropping a 24-21 decision to Syracuse. Coastal Carolina and Fresno State both moved up two spots to #3 and #4 respectively. Louisiana stayed at #5 followed by the biggest mover in the rankings, UT San Antonio, which jumped up 10 spots after throttling San Jose State 23-3. App State, Army, Liberty, and UCF rounded out the top 10 this week. In the second 10, 4-0 San Diego State moved up 3 spots to number 12, while SMU jumped 6 spots to #13. Western Michigan and Air Force entered the rankings at #19 and #20 respectively.
|San Diego State||MWC||12-2|
|Texas San Antonio||CUSA||12-2|