Who doesn’t love Thanksgiving? Food, food, more food, and maybe some drinks? If nothing else your body usually feels like doing very little the day after Turkey Day. What looked like an amazing three-game slate on Friday in August, now seems like a snooze-fest.
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The latest College Football Playoff poll was released Tuesday night and there really wasn’t any movement. What we already knew was that Memphis is in the driver’s seat to secure the New Year’s Six berth, which would most likely place the Tigers in the Cotton Bowl.
There are now only four G5 teams in the rankings with Memphis polling at No. 18, Cincinnati No. 19, Boise State No. 20 and Appalachian State No. 25. If you want to hear Rob Mullens chat about it, here you go!
So this is what it comes down to? Or at least maybe. At the start of the season most pundits thought it would UCF that would roll to another undefeated season, and most likely, another NY6 bowl game.
But that’s why they play the games, someone once said.
So here we are! It’s late November and the American Athletic Conference has a showcase game featuring No. 18-ranked Memphis (6-1 AAC, 10-1 overall) and No. 19 Cincinnati (7-0, 10-1). The winner will be in the driver’s seat for the coveted trip to Dallas to play in the Cotton Bowl. Continue reading “Showdown on the Mississippi: Can Memphis tackle Cincinnati?”
Week one is finally here! And there are many solid games on the slate for the Group of 5 teams. Will there be upsets? Most likely there will be a few. Here some games to watch out for this week with the Group of 5.
Friday, August 31
Syracuse at Western Michigan, 6 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Anytime an ACC school plays at a MAC school, you know it will be a goodie. At least we can hope. The Orange are a 5 point favorite, but this could be an upset by the Broncos at home.
Colorado State vs. Colorado, 9:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Though Colorado State lost its home opener to Hawai’i, the Rams will play Colorado in Denver for what could be a great game. There’s no better way to get over a disappointing loss than to beat your rival. Buffs are 7 point favorites.
Saturday, Sept. 1
Florida Atlantic at No. 7 Oklahoma, Noon ET, FOX
We’re gonna find out right away if FAU is any good. Of course winning in Norman would be an amazing feat, just keeping it close would be a major boost to the Owls’ resume. OU is favored by three TDs.
Northern Illinois at Iowa, 3:30 p.m. ET, BTN
NIU has the reputation of beating Power 5 teams and it’ll get a shot right out of the gate. The Huskies are coming off an 8-5 season with a disappointing bowl loss to Duke. But remember, NIU beat Nebraska last year in Lincoln. Iowa is a 10-point favorite.
Washington State at Wyoming, 3:30 p.m. ET, CBSSN
Washington State had a solid season last year, falling flat, however, in the Holiday Bowl. The Cougars will head to Laramie to play Wyoming, a team that allowed less than 150 total yards last week at New Mexico State. WAZZU is a 3 point favorite.
No. 22 Boise State at Troy, 5 p.m. ET, ESPNews
Boise State will head to the South to battle a very good Troy team. The Broncos won last year in Boise, 24-13. Expect a similar type of game even though Boise State is a 10.5 point favorite.
BYU at Arizona, 10:45 p.m. ET, ESPN
This is an interesting matchup as BYU had its worst season in decades, while Kevin Sumlin takes over a program with a Heisman Trophy candidate in Khalil Tate. Arizona is an 11-point favorite.
Other games of note: Navy at Hawai’i (11 p.m. ET, CBSSN); Middle Tennessee at Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m. ET, SECN); Indiana at FIU (7 p.m. ET, CBSN)
Photo: Florida Atlantic will need a huge game from Devin Singletary if the Owls want to keep it close on Saturday against Oklahoma. (Courtesy FAU athletics)
The Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors last won a football game on the road in Fort Collins way back when head coach Nick Rolovich was just a boy (it was actually 30 years ago). But on Saturday night, the Warriors’ revamped Run and Shoot offense was explosive, leading to a 43-34 win.
Redshirt sophomore Cole McDonald was impressive, completing 26 passes for 418 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 96 yards and two more scores. Not bad for this lightly recruited, two star prospect out Sonora High in La Habra, Calif.
The final score looked a bit closer than it actually was as Hawai’i (1-0, 1-0 MW) led 37-7 with less than 4 minutes to play in the third.
So what does this mean for Hawai’i? Well, it means that they are a legitimate contender to compete for the Mountain West’s West Division. It also means a bowl game is most likely. Next week, the Warriors host Navy in O’ahu followed by another home game against Rice and a trip to West Point to take on Army. The team’s next two are against Duquense (a FCS team that got rolled Saturday by UMASS) and then a trip to the Bay Area to take San Jose State.
It’s reasonable to think Hawai’i will be 6-0 when they host Wyoming on the islands Oct. 6.
Speaking of Wyoming …
The Cowboys’ defense was impressive (or New Mexico State’s offense is just awful) as the Pokes ran over the Aggies 29-7 in Las Cruces. Wyoming’s defense only allowed seven first downs and 135 total yards. Wow! We should learn a bit more about the Cowboys as they host Washington State next week in Laramie.
Photo: Cole McDonald runs past a Colorado State defender Saturday night in Fort Collins. Photo courtesy of UH athletics.
For the nearly 40,000 in attendance in Tucson, they saw something that had not happened since JFK was in office — New Mexico State won a bowl game. Though it appeared they won much more than the Arizona Bowl in the 26-20 overtime win against Utah State.
“You’d have thought they won the national championship or the Super Bowl,” Arizona Bowl executive director Alan Young told the Arizona Daily Star. “It was pure emotion.”
It sure was. Fans stormed the field. They took selfies. They looked around and, well, didn’t really know what to do. It was like a middle school dance. People were ready, but they were unsure of what to do.
Photo courtesy of NMSU Athletics
No. 25 Memphis came back from a 17-point deficit to win at Houston on Thursday night, topping the Cougars 42-38.
The win for the Tigers (6-1, 3-1 AAC) keeps them in the hunt for a NY6 game if they can keep winning, but may need to win in the AAC title game as well, likely against South Florida.
Memphis, of course, lost to UCF three weeks ago, a team that the Tigers could face again in the title game.
Coming into the matchup with Houston (4-3, 2-2), Memphis was a slight underdog, but a flurry of points — all 42 points — in the second half, and Riley Ferguson throwing the winning TD with less than 2-minutes to play was key to the upset.
“We battled, we knew it would be 60 minutes,” said Memphis head coach Mike Norvell said.
Ferguson led the Tigers with 471 passing yards.