Summary: Despite making their way into the AP Top 25 rankings, Group of Five teams are facing difficulties in securing their spots due to the lack of upsets against Power Five teams.
For the first time this season, multiple non-Power Five conference teams have entered the AP Top 25 rankings. Air Force from the Mountain West and Tulane from the American Athletic Conference have made their way back into the rankings. However, G5 teams are finding it challenging to break into the rankings due to the absence of impressive wins over Power Five opponents.
Conference realignment, including the departure of strong programs like Cincinnati, UCF, and Houston to the Big 12, has also affected the G5 teams’ chances. Moreover, there have been few notable upsets that usually help G5 teams gain recognition. Only two Power Five teams, Oklahoma State and Iowa State from the Big 12, have lost to G5 opponents this season.
This lack of marquee victories is a stumbling block for all Group of Five teams. The absence of upsets, such as Tulane defeating Kansas State or Marshall winning against Notre Dame last year, has led to limited opportunities for G5 teams to rise in the rankings. Despite this, teams like James Madison and Liberty have shown potential to crack the Top 25 if they continue to perform well in their respective conferences.
Overall, the struggle for Group of Five teams to establish themselves in the AP Top 25 reflects the challenges they face in gaining recognition and respect within the college football landscape.
Tags: Group of Five teams, AP Top 25 rankings, Power Five teams, upsets, non-Power Five conference, G5 teams, marquee victories, conference realignment, James Madison, Liberty