|1||Boise State (7)||104||1|
|2||Western Michigan (3)||100||3|
|7||San Diego State||36||7|
|Dropped out: Middle Tennessee State | Others receiving votes: none|
What is the Underdogs Poll? Every week, writers and editors from SB Nation's Group of Five blogs -- Bull Run, The Daily Stampede, Down the Drive, Hustle Belt, Miner Rush, Mountain West Connection, The UConn Blog, Underdog Dynasty, and Vanquish the Foe -- put their heads together to determine the best of the best, week in and week out, from the teams we cover. The poll is hosted by our friends at the Mountain West Connection. You can read their thoughts on this week’s poll at this link.
Last week was hardly a banner week for the Group of Five. Results among the top teams mostly played out as expected while we were deprived of any noticeable upsets. As a result, we have a rather tepid ranking this week as there was very limited movement in the polls.
While Houston took care of business against a strong Tulsa team, the nail-biting finish may have put a spook into the voters as the Cougars dropped from second to third place. Quarterbacks Dane Evans and Greg Ward Jr. dueled throughout the night with Evans finishing up with 365 passing yards while Ward passed for 254 and rushed for 142.
Ermeke Egbule scooped up a Golden Hurricane fumble and returned it for a touchdown to give Houston a 38-31 lead with just 1:21 left in the game. Tulsa put together an eight play, 74 yard drive to reach the Houston one yard line with seven seconds left in the game. Dane Evans rolled out of the pocket to find tight end Jesse Brubaker who would be stopped mere inches from the end zone.
Tulsa’s flawed but impressive showing boosted them from a previous ranking of 14 to 11 this week. The Golden Hurricane’s remaining schedule is fairly manageable as their toughest remaining games include road trips to Memphis and Navy. Tulsa is a near lock to go bowling with the potential for upwards of eight wins on the season.
Underdogs of the Week
Quinton Flowers, QB, South Florida - 23-of-37, 213 passing yards; 16 carries, 157 rushing yards; four total touchdowns (2 pass, 2 rush) in a 42-27 vs. Connecticut
Carlos Henderson, WR, Louisiana Tech - 12 catches, 326 yards, five touchdowns in a 56-28 win at Massachusetts
Anthony Wales, RB, Western Kentucky - 27 rushes, 158 yards, three touchdowns in a 44-43 win at Middle Tennessee
Games to Watch
Troy @ South Alabama (ESPNU) - Thursday, 6:30 pm CT: The Battle for the Belt comes to Mobile as Troy seeks to build on their incredible 5-1 start to the season. South Alabama has played the role of giant slayer this season, knocking off Mississippi State and a then-undefeated San Diego State previously this year.
South Florida @ Temple (ESPN) - Friday, 6:00 pm CT: While South Florida is in the driver’s seat to win the American Athletic Conference, they’ll face a tough challenge against the defensive-minded Temple Owls in Philly.
Old Dominion @ Western Kentucky (American Sports Network) - Saturday, 6:00 pm CT: Bobby Wilder’s Old Dominion Monarchs have been one of the biggest surprises in C-USA this year. They get a shot at division favorite WKU this Saturday. A win over WKU should be enough for ODU to secure the C-USA East title as the Monarchs avoid MTSU on the schedule this year.