Things progressed nicely in week four. Two more teams were dropped from the AP top 25 – Georgia got crushed by Ole Miss, and LSU lost by less than a TD to Auburn (but it was enough to get Les Miles fired). While, no, last weekend wasn’t one of insane underdog victories all over the place, we’re coming to the point in the season where undefeated teams are getting more and more rare and the top of the rankings are becoming more solid. Alabama and Ohio State are correctly ranked in the top two of the AP. Houston remains at 6 for now, but Stanford and Wisconsin are coming up behind quickly. The question is, can they stay high enough with a weak schedule to be in the Top 4 at the end?
The Group of Five also had a nice week, and as always, that fifth spot seems to be the rotator with a new team sliding in there this time.
5. Memphis Tigers
They are 3-0, they beat Boston College 77-3. and are coming up against a ranked Ole Miss next week that, really, the Tigers are fully capable of beating. If Memphis makes it past the Rebels, their next biggest challenges are all in conference, with the biggest game on Nov 25th against Houston.
4. Western Michigan Broncos
The Bizzaro Broncos are still out there rowing their way to victory after victory, most recently against the 3-0 Georgia Southern squad. WMU is headed into the start of their MACtion schedule, starting off with Central Michigan next weekend. This team is good, but will probably get leapt by Memphis if both teams win next week, just due to SOS.
3. Boise State Broncos
Boise put on a nice show last weekend when beating Oregon State for their second Pac12 victory of the season. These Broncos have a lot of very good things going on – their first week breaking the Top 25, solid open field tackling, surprisingly good lines on both sides of the ball, another truly great RB in Jeremy McNichols who compliments the skills of QB Brett Rypien quite well. The team is also primed for heading into a MWC season that one wouldn’t think would be that tough judging by the OOC performance of the Mountain West, but it’s a trap to think that way. This weekend, Boise is against Utah State looking for revenge after losing to the Aggies last season.
2. San Diego State Aztecs
SDSU made it through their bye week unscathed! A tough task for a MWC team. Next up is South Alabama (who you might remember from earlier articles for beating Mississippi State in game 1), and then the Aztecs are staring down that MWC slate just like the Broncos are. The Aztecs are looking at the West division though, which isn’t as tough as the Mountain division. There is also no Air Force Academy on the schedule to contend with. In fact, they somehow managed to avoid all the triple option teams this season. The Aztecs are legit, but unless Houston stumbles somewhere, I just don’t see how SOS would let them jump to the top spot.
1. Houston Cougars
I thought that Cincy would be a challenge for Houston. Apparently I was wrong. They put a hurting on one of the best teams in their conference, and are now clearly, in the hunt for a playoff berth. Unfortunately, I don’t think their SOS will be enough. Also, the fact that they are a G5 team carries innate bias – just ask Boise. Greg Ward Jr. is going to be in the Heisman convo at the end of the season, Houston’s coach is already on the short list for the LSU opening, and hopefully this team can handle the pressure and won’t self destruct.
G5 Games to Watch Next Weekend
The Flash Bowl – Ole Miss v. Memphis – 7:00p eastern on ESPN2
The Vegas line has this opening Over/Under at 65.5 points, with the Rebels -13. I think that’s low and not close enough. It’s very possible that both of these teams put up 40+, and I don’t think that number 16 ranking for Ole Miss means much to the Tigers. A night game at Vaught-Hemingway that might look more #Pac12AfterDark than anything else next weekend.
Options Everywhere – Navy vs. Air Force – 3:30p eastern on CBSSN
This game is what the Army-Navy game should be. Better, more meaningful football, all the America we civilians can handle, and with like, actual implications. Both teams are undefeated, both teams are looking for championships in their respective conferences. This should be a good one.
‘Tis The Season for Revenge – Boise State vs. Utah State – 10:15p eastern on ESPN2
This one is personal. Boise State turned over the ball what seemed like a million times to USU last season and lost badly. It was the start of a slide like Boise fans haven’t endured in a few years, and we’re all cranky with the Aggies about it. Utah State isn’t quite what they have been, and gave up a game to Air Force last week that the Aggies could’ve won. If they figure out run defense this week, the game against BSU gets much much more interesting.