We're at the halfway point of the season and the Group of Five standings are slowly being set into place. All those desperate summer attempts to convince your buddy Gary that Western Kentucky would compete in C-USA or that one Kent State fan truly believing his friends would get a win have been flushed down the toilet like a bag of Carl Pelini cocaine.
George O'Leary added another big win to his resume (teehee) last week with a late-rally to beat BYU minus Taysom Hill. The Knights jumped out to a 14-0 lead before squandering it and picking it back up behind 51 Justin Holman passes and 326 yards in the air. UCF is back in the AAC title conversation but games against East Carolina and — oh my God —Temple, will decide the Knights' fate.
RICE IS COOKING
The Owls have picked up the pieces of an 0-3 start to win three straight, including Saturday's 20-point victory over Army. Driphus Jackson, who sounds like an ancillary character from The Cosby Show (did we mention Temple was good! TEMPLE IS GOOD!), tossed three touchdowns in the win to bring Rice back into the Conference USA championship conversation.
BLADE... RAZOR... BLAZER
Temple is good and that is awesome. Did we mention that? But the Owls aren't the only surprisingly solid Group of Five team. UAB is 4-2 right now and put up over 500 yards of offense on No. 1 Mississippi State. That is not a joke. The Blazers used three defensive touchdowns and 448 total yards to dispatch of North Texas at home Saturday. UAB is now 2-1 in C-USA play after winning a total of one conference game last season and being sacrificed as Southern Miss' lone 2013 win.
NATIONAL CHAMPION OF THE WEEK: UMASS
The Minutemen won! Paul Revere swept through New England on horseback screaming "THE FLASHES ARE COMING! THE FLASHES ARE COMING!" and UMass drew its musket and and beat down the Blue and Goldcoats 41-17. They even kicked two field goals! The victory snapped a 12-game losing streak for UMass and showcased just how good Blake Frohnapfel can be. The Marshall transfer accounted for three touchdowns and 286 yards in the win. Go crazy, Amherst. Go crazy.
Speaking of first wins, the Trojans of Troy got their first win of Larry Blakeney's 2014 Farewell Tour sponsored by Frito-Lay by taking down New Mexico State 41-24. Brandon Burks rushed for 173 yards on just 10 carries and Troy jumped out to a 20-7 lead, never looking back. Not even to see why people were in the stands watching this insane excuse for a football game.
OTHER SCORES OF NOTE: Marshall 49, Middle Tennessee 24; Temple 35, Tulsa 24; Eastern Michigan 37, Buffalo 27; Arkansas State 52, Georgia State 10; Iowa State 37, Toledo 30