Every week we review the teams trying to earn a “Big Six” bowl slot, which goes to the highest-rated team from a Group of 5 conference that wins their conference championship. Right now, Marshall and East Carolina appear to be the top candidates for the bid. Week six of the college football season saw Marshall cruise to an easy win, while East Carolina made a statement. Besides the Herd and the Pirates, we’ll always look at a few other teams that could climb into the conversation if the Marshall or ECU falter.
Pirates continue domination – The East Carolina Pirates continued to roll as they defeated the SMU Mustangs 45-24, and moved No.19 in the AP poll. The Pirates got a huge game from Senior QB Shane Carden who threw for 410 yards and 4 TDs while rushing for 47 yards. Carden ranks in the top 10 nationally in passing yards (1,879) and TDs (15), while leading an offense that averages 43.6 PPG. The Pirates are currently the highest ranking team from the Group of 5.
Thundering Herd Conquer Monarchs – The Marshall Thundering Herd continued their winning ways Saturday, rolling over the Old Dominion Monarchs 56-14. The Thundering Herd improved to 5-0 and are the only remaining undefeated team from the Group of 5. The Herd face the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders Saturday, in a game that could decide the race in the East Division of Conference USA.
Memphis gets statement win – The Memphis Tigers went on the road this Saturday and got a huge win over the Cincinnati Bearcats, winning 41-14. It was an impressive win for the Tigers who improved to 3-2 on the year, with close losses at No.18 UCLA and No.3 Ole Miss. The Tigers chances of making a Big Six bowl game are very slim, but the Tigers have a chance for a 10-2 record, with a schedule that is one of the easiest in the nation.
Falcons Win Rivalry Game – The Air Force Falcons impressive start to the season continued Saturday when they grounded the Navy Midshipmen for the first time since 2011. With the 30-21 victory, the Falcons improved to 4-1 on the season, a huge surprise for a team that was 2-10 last year. They’ve shown that the triple option can still be effective. The Falcons rank 11th nationally in the in rushing, with 298 YPG and average 32.6 PPG.