The Group of 5 certainly has seen a shake up the last two weeks, with stunning losses by East Carolina , leaving no Group of 5 team ranked in Top 25 of the College Football Playoff rankings. This week, we will look into five teams from the Group of 5 that are the most likely to claim the one spot into a Big Six bowl game.
Thundering Herd still unloved – What do the Marshall Thundering Herd have to do to get a little love from the College Football Playoff committee? They are sitting at 9-0, undefeated in Conference USA, and have won all of their games by 15 or more points. The strength of schedule for the Thundering Herd is the glaring point in their argument, but if they win out, including the Conference USA championship, how can they not make a Big Six bowl game? This would certainly be considered the first “snub” in the new system if the Thundering Herd don’t make a Big Six bowl game, but a favorable schedule the remaining three games and a date with Louisiana Tech could just help the Herd sneak into the Top 25.
Pirates still alive? – After a surprising loss to the Temple Owls two weeks ago, the East Carolina Pirates saw their almost guaranteed spot in a Big Six bowl game slip by them. The Pirates had climbed to No. 23 in the CFP rankings, and were the only team from the Group of 5 to be ranked. The loss dropped the Pirates out of the top 25, but did it knock the Pirates out for good? Only time will tell for ECU as they will have to win out the rest of the season, and hope for slip-ups by other teams in the Group of 5. It will be tough after the loss to Cincinnati.
Rams continue climb- The Colorado State Rams have laid claim as to why they should be the team from the Group of 5 to make a Bix Six bowl. The Rams are 9-1 with the only blemish a week two loss to Boise State. Their two remaining games are winnable, but they may not even make the Mountain West championship game unless Boise State is upset. They’ll need to win their conference to be considered for a Big Six bid.
Could Broncos make it, again? – The Boise State Broncos certainly have a history of making big bowl games (and winning them), but could they make it again this year? Looking further at the Broncos, their losses have come to the Ole Miss Rebels, currently ranked No.10, and to the Air Force Falcons, which will haunt the Broncos. However, the Broncos, currently sitting at 7-2, could win their remaining three games this season, finishing the season at 10-2. They own the tie-breaker over Colorado State, which would put them in the Mountain West Championship should they win out. If the Broncos win the Mountain West Championship Game, could they make a Big Six bowl game?
A dark-horse team? – In the Group of 5, there is a true dark-horse team that holds an impressive 8-2 record, with losses only to Georgia Tech and North Carolina State by a combined five points. However, the Georgia Southern Eagles are not eligible to make a bowl game this year due to this being their first year in Division I football. It would be an interesting scenario if the Eagles could make a bowl game this year, as they could be considered to make it to a Big Six Bowl game, in their first year in the FBS.