Could last weekend have been any more intense in the Group of Five? Sure, the big schools pretty much behaved as expected, but the G5 teams were basically a swirling mass of insanity.
Houston lost to Memphis. Boise lost to Air Force by lack of one yard. Navy hung 75 freaking points on SMU. Idaho beat South Alabama, of beating Mississippi State and San Diego State fame. So, are the Vandals better than the probable MWC champs, Texas A&M, and Ole Miss? Hell no they aren’t. 2o16 is the year of WTF. Nevada beat UNLV and fired Coach Polian about an hour after a press appearance with the rivalry trophy. SDSU managed to lose to a bad Colorado State team, and Wyoming lost to New Mexico. Western Michigan reached perfection, going 12-0 on their victory over Toledo, which might be the strangest part of all.
Group of Five Rankings
5. Houston Cougars
At this point in the season I’m doing this analysis based off several sets of computer rankings, the AP top 25, the Coaches poll, and the CFB Playoff poll. However, I’m still looking for the teams that have performed the best throughout the season. Yes, Houston has three losses. Yes, their coach bailed for Texas. However, they’ve still beat two top five teams and had an amazing run.
4. Boise State Broncos
Boise ended up 10-2, with a share of the MWC Mountain Division championship. However, with the loss to Air Force, they were knocked out of contention for the Mountain West Championship. It was a solid season with two wins over Power 5 programs, and very nearly managed to get in to a NY6 bowl game. They were slightly more consistent than Houston, so they came in slightly above the Cougars in the rankings.
3. South Florida Bulls
Going 10-2 in the American is a feat. USF’s only losses were to Florida State and Temple. Hate putting the winner of a head to head behind the team that beat them in the rankings, but Navy’s loss to them was weird. The Bulls finished second in their division, and looked pretty good all season long.
2. Navy Midshipmen
Navy is lurking. Down there at number 19 in the rankings, with two games to go. In the last two weeks, Navy has scored 141 points and 1194 yards of offense in the last two games, and are just…rolling. They’ve put a hurting on the last two teams they’ve come across, and won’t let up. There’s a chance that when the dust has settled, these guys could end up being the G5 rep to the NY6. Interesting thought, eh?
1. Western Michigan Broncos
They rowed the boat through the heat and the cold, through the sun and rain and dead of night, and reached their goal. The Broncos are perfect. 12-0. Coming in at 17 in the CFP poll, if they can win their conference champ game, they will for sure be facing off for a big payday and an excellent chance to prove how good they are in the Cotton Bowl.
Games To Watch This Weekend
For All The MACtions – Ohio v. Western Michigan – Friday, 7:00p Eastern – ESPN2
Look, the Ohio Bobcats are your run of the mill MAC team. They’ve got an 8-4 record, and like always in football, has a chance to be the hero and win as the underdog. However, this is against the juggernaut of WMU. This game could also be totally out of hand by the time the Pac 12 game starts later that night, but will be a good chance to see one of two perfect teams left in the country win a championship.
Murica, Murica – Temple @ Navy – Saturday, 12:00p Eastern – ABC
If WMU trips on Friday, then this game takes on a whole new dimension. Navy is just losing it on teams right now, and I’m not sure Temple is enough to derail them if Houston and Memphis weren’t. If anything, maybe Navy will finally hang 100 on somebody.
Championship weekend is finally here. All that’s left are this weekends matchups, the Army/Navy game, and then bowl season. It’s been a long road, and like always – almost everything we thought we knew at the beginning of the season was wrong. After months of arguing, hundreds of games, it all comes down to this.