There are nine undefeated teams left in the country after week 8. Not bad. Bama torched Texas A&M, Michigan is over there, sneaking to #2 in the country after Ohio State went down to Penn State. Clemson and Washington are right there on their heels at #3 and #4. Nebraska is #7, after looking shaky against Purdue, and are coming into the depths of their B1G schedule. Baylor and WVU are out there as well…staring down perfection. Ohio State’s loss was a shock, but perhaps there was no bigger stunner than Houston losing to rival SMU. Especially for the two Group of Five undefeated teams left – Boise State and Western Michigan.
Going in to week nine, seven of those nine undefeated teams are playing on the road in possible trap games. With a month to go, it’s the most precarious time. It’s hard not to stumble with the pressure of expectations and the hype machines cranking 24/7, especially when it comes to conference and rivalry games that are played in this last month.
The Chaos Gods are just ramping up. November is going to be wild.
Group of Five Rankings
5. Troy Trojans
Welcome to the rankings, Troy. The Trojans are 6-1, with a big, close win over South Alabama last week to get bowl eligible. This week they’re on a bye, but will be back in action against UMass on Nov 5th, and could be in a three way tie for first place in the Sun Belt by the time they take the field again.
4. San Diego State Aztecs
SDSU is back in the rankings over Houston only by virtue of the fact that they’re still in the race to win the Mountain West, whereas Houston needs other teams to lose to get to theirs. Pumphrey is an amazing running back that is carrying the Aztecs to their destiny, which included stomping SJSU 42-3 last weekend.
3. Navy Midshipmen
Navy made Memphis look silly last weekend, beating them 42-28 on a big third quarter effort. This team executes extremely well, and are in the drivers seat for the AAC Champ game. However, they are facing a tough USF team looking to bounce back after a loss to Temple (who its looking like Navy will face for that championship.) and will need to play a third epic game in a row. That’s difficult no matter what.
2. Western Michigan Broncos
This team is amazingly good and don’t look likely to falter anytime soon. With a win last weekend over Eastern Michigan, the boat has hit smooth sailing. That doesn’t mean that Fleck doesn’t have his boys treating this thing like an olympic rowing race. It’s all about executing and maintaining momentum, and they’re killin it.
1. Boise State Broncos
A certain amount of luck goes along with being undefeated. Nobody likes to talk about it, but what else could turning the ball over five times to BYU and beating them anyway really be? #BroncoNation is freaked out because this is not the Boise that curb stomps everyone on the schedule, but that Boise never really existed. Every one of the recent BSU teams that have gone undefeated did it less like Bama, and more by the skin of their teeth. The Broncos own their destiny, and if they keep finding ways to win and cleaning up their mistakes….it’s going to be a good New Year’s.
Games To Watch This Weekend
AACtion? – Navy @ USF – Friday, 7:00p E – ESPN 2
The Midshipmen are going to have a battle on their hands on the road at South Florida. Both teams are capable of putting up a lot of points in a hurry, and playing solid defense. This game is going to be a hell of a lot of fun to watch. Who doesn’t like the option?! (Put your hands down, Houston and Boise.)
The No Fucks Bowl – UCF @ Houston – Saturday, 12:00p E – ESPNU
UCF beat their forced rival, UConn, last weekend, and walked off the field without the trophy. They don’t care about UConn, and you can be damn sure they won’t care about Houston, other than whipping them. Houston has nothing left to lose, and a lot of talent who will be looking to avenge that loss to SMU. This is the best noon kick game on Saturday by a mile – #SorryNotSorry Power Five bros.
No Bucking Way – Boise @ Wyoming – Saturday, 7:00p E – CBSSN
Craig Bohl came from North Dakota State (#GoBizon) to Wyoming three years ago and has made his mark. The Cowboys are on their way to being a winning program, but had a long way to climb to even get to “passable football team.” Boise State is the former Boise State as well as the New Boise State, and the Current Boise State. Amazing how that works. These teams always play an entertaining game, and with Brian Hill (No. 2 rusher in the country) running out of his mind, it might be better than usual.
Games To Wish You Could Watch This Weekend
Periscope Classic – New Mexico @ Hawaii – Sunday, 12:00 am E – Oceanic PPV
The most useless cable conglomerate in the country still has the broadcast rights to the most entertaining Hawaii team in a long time and isn’t showing it. Coach Rolovich has his team playing exceedingly well, and while New Mexico will definitely be a challenge, its a non-optional Option that the Rainbow Warriors are familiar with. They beat Air Force last weekend, while New Mexico beat up on a Fun Belt cupcake. Will the travel prove too much for the Lobos? Let’s hope, for the sake of that guy who is getting more famous every weekend by broadcasting from his seats in the stadium and the 400 people who figure out how to watch Hawaii play. You suck, Oceanic Cable. You robbed the world of the joy of listening to Robert Kekaula call football games in the middle of the cold winter night in the year when we needed it most. I hope their executives step on a Lego every morning, first thing.