College football was ridiculous fun last weekend, wasn’t it? There were surprising results all over the place, with Louisville cementing their place at the top of the polls with a dominant performance against Florida State that saw the #2 team in the country going down by 43 points, Houston finally finding a way to end the questions about whether they’re able to overcome adversity, and Appalachian State doing the same but in the absolute opposite way in a nasty loss to Miami. BYU also stumbled vs. UCLA, while Ohio State put on a clinic against the Sooners in Norman, and Nebraska put Oregon in their place – which is losing during primetime on ABC.
(It feels remiss to write this without mentioning the best underdog win of the week – the North Dakota State Bison going to Iowa City and coming out victorious, adding another P5 pelt to the walls of the study where they display their five FCS national championship trophies and drink hot cider in front of the fire during the long, cold Fargo winters. The game was close and the Bison won on a last second FG, but Iowa was a ranked team going in and got embarrassed in their own house. NDSU even got 61 more votes in the coaches poll than Iowa afterward. Parity in college football is real, and adds an element of dramatics to the game that wasn’t around back in the days of boosters and coaches doing whatever they wanted, unchecked, and 100 scholarships all around. The NDSU’s of the world deserve every penny they can scrape out of this system – the Bison have taken $2.175 million over the last few years, which is roughly equivalent of 9% of Iowa’s projected football revenue for 2016 alone. But sure, media, keep writing misunderstood think pieces about how nobody should schedule NDSU because a loss is more embarrassing than the discrepancy in the size of those numbers.)
These G5 standings didn’t shuffle much this week, but the #5 slot is still pretty much rotating at this point.
5. South Florida Bulls
USF is off to a 3-0 start and has beaten everyone on their schedule, including Northern Illinois and Syracuse by 20+ points. They did have to come back after getting down 17 points to the Orange this last weekend, and have a challenge vs. a wounded Florida State on their hands next week, but are getting votes in both polls and have a strong enough AAC schedule to make some noise if Houston trips somehow and USF doesn’t.
4. Western Michigan Broncos
The boat! It was rowed and rowed mightily this weekend as the Broncos thumped Illinois 34-10. This team plays at a high level, and looks to be the cream of the MAC. The Broncos’ line manhandled the bigger Illini on their way to their second victory over a Big Ten team this year. (Does it really count if one of them is Northwestern, though?) WMU is now headed into their Maction schedule for the year, so hopefully Coach Fleck can keep them focused and winning the rest of the way.
3. Boise State Broncos
For the first time in recent history, Boise State won a bye week! The Broncos gained votes in both the Coaches and AP polls, without having to set foot on the field. For this team, who is looking down ten straight games to finish out the season, that’s got to be a bit of solace. Boise plays at Oregon State next week, with a rare opportunity to take down two Pac 12 teams in one season.
2. San Diego State Aztecs
Okay, SDSU, everybody sees you. Donnel Pumphrey out there breaking Marshall Faulk’s records and leading the country in yardage and holding third in total rushing touchdowns. Calvin Munson is #10 in the country for tackles for loss so far, and San Diego State remains the team to beat in the Mountain West, especially after Cal, who fell to SDSU in week 1, held on and won vs. Texas over the weekend.
1. Houston Cougars
Houston did what they needed to do on Thursday night, which was notch another victory. It wasn’t particularly pretty until the 4th quarter, but Houston did Houston things and came out on top. Watch – it was ridiculous.
Anyway, the Cougars’ Greg Ward Jr. is going to be in a dog fight as the outsider Heisman candidate with Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, and should be able to rack up all the yards and all the highlights vs. their fairly weak AAC schedule. They’re getting SOS help from #TeamChaos – Oklahoma managed to get thumped by Ohio State on Saturday and not fall out of the top 25. All Houston has to do is hang on, and they’ll give the playoff committee something difficult to consider in December.
G5 Games to Watch Next Week
Maybe Someone’s Face Will Get Eaten – South Florida vs. Florida State – Saturday, 12:00p ET, ABC
The Noles are going to be leaving the friendly confines of Tally to head 4 hours south to Tampa and try to beat a streaking USF. Theoretically, FSU should win this easily, but that should’ve happened against Louisville too.
Everything Sucks And Is Bad – San Jose State vs. Iowa State – Saturday, 12:00p ET, FSN
Is it even possible for anyone to really win this game? If San Jose State pulls it off…congrats. You’re a 1-2 team who just beat one of the least powerful teams in FBS and still staring down a MWC schedule that is going to chew up the Spartans depth. If Iowa State takes it, the Cyclones and their fans are relieved to finally notch a win, but it’s a win over a pretty objectively terrible G5 squad that carries no cache at all. This might be the best ugly game of the weekend, to be honest.
Rowing The Rapids – Georgia Southern vs. Western Michigan – Saturday, 7:00p ET, ESPN3
Georgia Southern and WMU have matching 3-0 records, but while The Broncos have shown power and discipline in beating two P5 teams, GSU, while leading the Fun Belt, hasn’t played anybody more challenging than South Alabama. Don’t believe that WMU will lose this one, but it will be interesting to keep an eye on.
GOBBLE GOBBLE, MATEYS – East Carolina vs. Virginia Tech – Saturday, 12:30p ET – ACC Network
On paper, VT should wipe the floor with East Carolina. VT blanked Boston College last week after losing to a ranked Vols team the week before, and ECU lost to South Carolina by one score after beating NC State in week 2. But the Pirates are sneaky, and the Hokies might be in for a battle.