As we count down to the College Football season ThorpesSportingThoughts has predicted every single FBS game for the coming year, and over a series of articles we are going to spoil your enjoyment of it by telling you exactly what’s going to happen. Each of the Power Five conferences get their own piece, with additional posts on the Group of Five, Top 25 and Bowl Projections.
Back in the day (i.e. before 2014 and the playoff), what is now called the “group of 5” gave rise to the term “BCS Buster” – a team that earned a bid to one of the Bowl Championship Series bowls even without an automatic tie-in. With the advent of the playoff, the highest-ranked Group of 5 champion gets an automatic bid, no matter their record.
In 2014, #21 Boise State beat #12 Arizona in the Fiesta Bowl and in 2015, #14 Houston beat #9 Florida State in the Peach Bowl, but last year #12 Western Michigan couldn’t keep the streak going as they lost to #8 Wisconsin in the Cotton Bowl.
This year, there isn’t really a stand-out team to bet the house on, and the stipulation that it has to be a conference champion hurts the Group of 5 as their team with the best resume – South Florida – fails to win its conference championship, but I’m getting ahead of myself: