The Power 5 Short-Circuits vs The Group of 5 in Week 1
By: Tony Thomas
September 5, 2019
The “experts” will say or imply what they will about the Group of 5 teams being inferior to the Power 5 teams. But three Power 5 teams played as poorly as anyone could in week 1, and they got flat out beat by teams from Group of 5 conferences.
#1 Ga. State 38 – Tennessee 30: Ga. State, a 25 point underdog, scored 17 points in the 4th quarter to steal a win away from the Vols. The Panthers recorded 4 sacks of Vols QB Jarret Guarantano, came up with an interception, and forced 2 fumbles. Ga. State’s rushing totals more than doubled that of Tennessee, 213 to 93. And, to add insult to injury, Tennessee paid Ga. State over $900,000 to play the game at Neyland Stadium. This was not a good look to start year two of the Jeremy Pruitt era.
#2 Boise State 36 – Florida State 31: The Seminoles had this game well in hand with a 31-13 lead late in the 2nd quarter.
Or so they thought.
Boise State roared back in the second half, scoring 23 unanswered points to beat the Seminoles on their home field. The game had been scheduled as a “neutral” site game to be played in Jacksonville, Florida. But it was moved to Tallahassee and the start time moved up 7 hours to noon due to the approaching Hurricane Dorian.
True freshman QB Hank Bachmeier, in his first collegiate game, led the Broncos with 407 yards passing, 1 TD, and 1 INT. RB Robert Mahone ran for 142 yards and 2 TD’s on 24 carries.
After the game, Florida State Head Coach Willie Taggert offered up players being dehydrated as an excuse for his team’s poor play. The Seminole players grew up in Florida, they should be used to the heat. Let’s just call it like it is, shall we? Boise State was the much better team.
#3 Cincinnati 24 – UCLA 14: The Bearcats were poor hosts, beating up on the Bruins to open their season with a home win. Cincinnati outgained UCLA in rushing yards (175 to 62), passing yards (242 to 156), total yards (417 to 218), and gained more first downs than the Bruins (24 to 12).
The Bearcat defense did there part as well, forcing 4 turnovers (2 fumbles and 2 INT’s).
This version of Chip Kelly sure doesn’t look anything like the Chip Kelly of old, when he had the Oregon Ducks flying high with a four-year record of 46-7. Kelly led the Ducks to the BCS Championship Game in 2010, losing to Cam Newton and the Auburn Tigers. Kelly then left Oregon for the NFL in 2013 to coach the Philadelphia Eagles.
The Group of 5 has good teams that play good football. Take UCF for example. Remember them? The Knights are 25-1 and have been the highest-ranked team in the Group of 5 for the last 2 years. In 2017 they beat Auburn of the mighty SEC 34-27 in the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl. UCF finished with a #6 final ranking in the AP Poll that year.
The G5 has talented players and even better coaches, some of which are the topic of conversation for potential head coaching jobs at Power 5 schools at the end of this season, like Mike Norvell of Memphis.
So, don’t sell the Group of 5 short.
Thanks for reading.