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These Group of Five Teams are Worthy of the CFB Top 25

Tony Thomas
3 min readNov 2, 2020


The Group of Five teams are those from the five college football conferences known as the American Athletic Conference (AAC), Conference USA (C-USA), The Sunbelt Conference (SBC), The Mountain West Conference (MWC), and the Mid-American Conference (MAC). Plus, six schools that are considered Independents, meaning no official conference affiliation.

As wacky and chaotic as 2020 has been this college football season, its nice to see G5 teams getting the recognition they deserve. So, without further adieu, here are the seven Group of Five teams that are ranked in the AP Top 25 Poll going into week 10:

#6 Cincinnati Bearkats (5–0): led by QB Desmond Ridder. Ridder accounted for 5 TDs (3 passing, 2 rushing) in 49–10 win over Memphis. He has 9 total TDs and 1 INT in his last two games and 15 total TDs in five games.

#9 BYU Cougars (7–0): The Cougars are 7th in the FBS in scoring offense at 44 points per game. Driving the Cougar scoring machine is QB Zach Wilson. Wilson has accounted for 26 total touchdowns (19 passing, 7 rushing) and only 2 INTs in 193 passing attempts, while completing 75% of his passes.

#15 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (6–0): The Chanticleers are the talk of college football so far in 2020. They are led by QB Grayson McCall, who is coming off a 5 TD performance in a 51–0 demolishing of Georgia State. He has 19 total TDs and only one INT in 111 pass attempts.

#16 Marshall Thundering Herd (5–0): with a head coach with the best name in college football (Doc Holliday), the Thundering Herd are led on the field by RB Brenden Knox. Knox has rushed for 100 yards or more in four straight games and scored 7 TDs on the ground.

#18 SMU Mustangs (6–1):The Mustangs are a high-octane offense that have scored 65 points in a win over North Texas and 50 and 51 points against Stephen F. Austin and Navy this season. The leader of this offense is QB Shane Buchele. He has thrown for 2226 yards, 16 TDs, and 3 INTs in 249 passing attempts. The running game is led by Ulysses Bentley IV, who has gained 695 yards and scored 10 TDs.

#21 Boise State Broncos: The Broncos have only played two games this season after the Mountain West Conference voted to delay the season due to COVID-19 only to return to play on a abbreviated schedule. But they are 2–0 and are scoring 45 points per game.

#25 Liberty Flames: The Flames, coached by Hugh Freeze, are a high flying offense. Under Freeze, would it be any other way? The Flames are led by QB Malik Willis. He has passed for 1122 yards, 9 TDs, and 1 INT and also has added 495 yards and 6 TDs on the ground. Also, there are three other running backs on the team that have combined for 1,058 yards rushing and 8 touchdowns.

The seven teams listed above are a combined 37–1 and are most definitely worthy to be ranked in the college football TOP 25.

Thank you for reading.



Tony Thomas

I’m a staff writer for Mike Farrell Sports, where I write about the transfer portal and SEC football. College football junkie. Email: