AP Top 25: Group Of Five Outlook

With the second edition of the AP Top 25 being released today, we’ve got plenty to look forward to in terms of G5 teams move’n on up!

Chaos was rampant, with Mountain West teams again proving themselves superior to the Pig- er- Power Five.

Unfortunately, not many squads will move in to the actual Top 25. But watch for a few to receive some votes.

What To Expect From Today’s Rankings

UCF, who was ranked at #16 in the last AP poll, picked up an unsurprising win over Florida A&M. The 5 teams ahead of UCF- Auburn, Penn State, Utah, Washington, and Texas A&M- all won their match-ups. Expect the Knights to remain stagnant in the rankings.

Army, who was #27 in the receiving votes category, won 14-7 over… Rice. Yeah. Not super impressive. But a win’s a win, and the team in front of them at #26 got lambasted by Wyoming in Laramie (more on that later). Army will likely stay in the receiving votes category, just because of their ‘meh’ win. It doesn’t help that the teams in spots 25-20 all won their games.

Next up are the honorary Florida Gators for a day, who took down Florida State in a miraculous comeback at Doak. Boise is at 33 according to last week’s rankings. Expect Boise to move up. Even though Florida State wasn’t ranked, it was a very impressive win for a program starting a true freshman QB. Miami, Northwestern, and Missouri, who are all ranked ahead of Boise, lost. Boise will at the very least leapfrog those teams and hit #28 in today’s standings, right behind Army.

Cincinnati is the only other G5 Team who was receiving double digit votes in the last rankings. They took down UCLA at home, which is a decent if not all that impressive win. A jump into the top 30 isn’t unrealistic for the Bearcats.

Fresno State, Utah State, Appalachian State, Memphis, and UAB were all receiving votes in last weekend’s poll. Since Fresno and USU both lost, they’re likely to drop out of the poll all together. The other three teams will certainly move up a couple of spots.

There’ll also be newcomers to the receiving votes category. Wyoming won a huge game against Missouri at home, Hawaii outscored Arizona, Nevada took down Purdue at home, and Georgia State beat Tennessee in Neyland. Out of those four, Wyoming is the most likely to hop into the receiving votes category, but I wouldn’t be too shocked if none of em’ made it in.

Future Prospects

ACC and Independent Dreams

While we can contemplate what the rankings will be for the Group Of Five today, we do know for a fact who these teams all play in the future.

The biggest opportunity of the lot will be Cincinnati’s. They’ll be traveling back to Ohio to take on the Buckeyes in week two. If they can pull off the unthinkable, Cincy will vault themselves into the top 20, and potentially the College Football Playoff conversation. But that’s a very big IF.

If you think Cincy has a huge opportunity, Army might have the about the same size of a chance. They go on the road to The Big House to battle Michigan.

A win there would send them into the top 20 and the national conversation. Yeah, it’s unlikely, but it’s certainly possible- and possibilities is what underdogs live on.

But how about the incumbent, UCF? Well, they won’t get their opportunity until later on against Stanford in Week 3. If they can win that game and beat Houston and Cincinnati in conference play, watch out.

The top 10 wouldn’t be out of the question for them. But with a loss to Stanford? UCF will fall down the polls and can say good-knight to their CFP dreams.

Mountain West Hopefuls

Nevada beat Purdue last weekend, and with a win over Oregon, the Wolfpack won’t be mere puppies anymore. If Nevda can pull off the upset, they’ll put themselves on the National and Mountain West radar.

Boise, meanwhile, has a tough out against Marshall, who’re a top C-USA team that Boise can’t be caught sleeping on. But it’s going to be a win on The Blue, and all Boise has to do from here on out to be in great position for a NY6 shot is to beat Marshall, BYU, Utah State, Hawaii, Wyoming, and win the conference.

Those aren’t bad odds. Teams like UCF and Army certainly have a much tougher path. If the Broncos get rolling and UCF stumbles, things could get interesting.

So… who’s going to the NY6?

It’s certainly way too early to tell, and anything could happen in between now and the final CFP Rankings. But if I had to rank the top five Group Of Five teams based on this past weekend’s performances, this is how they would rank.

  1. UCF
  2. Boise State
  3. Army
  4. Cincinnati
  5. Memphis

Again, teams like App State, UAB, Wyoming, Hawaii, and Nevada could all sneak up on us, but as of right now, those five teams are in the best spot to move up in the polls and secure a NY6 matchup.

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