Our top three teams from last week’s poll remain the same while a new squad cracks the top five.
1. Tulane, last week: 1
Tulane had no issues last week in a two-possession win over Tulsa, not letting the hype surrounding the first-ever CFP playoff ranking get to its head. The Green Wave jumped to No. 16 in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. Next up is UCF and the biggest game of the season for the Green Wave so far. Unfortunately, College Gameday didn’t want to visit what might be the best G5 game of the season, but at least Tulane tried:
2. UCF, last week: 2
After suffering its second loss of the season to ECU three weeks ago, the Knights have handled business in the last two outings by defeating Cincinnati and a respectable Memphis squad. The win pushed UCF to No. 22 in the AP poll ahead of Saturday’s matchup with Tulane, which is our top G5 game to watch this week.
3. Cincinnati, last week: 3
It was a ho-hum performance for the Bearcats on Saturday, beating Navy 20-10 as 18.5-point favorites. A win is a win, but it wasn’t a reach to think Cincy would blow Navy out of the water and take out its frustrations following its loss to UCF. The Bearcats look to avoid another setback against ECU this week.
4. Coastal Carolina, last week: 8
Three weeks ago the Chanticleers weren’t ranked in this poll. Now, here they are sitting in the top five after picking up a win over Sun Belt rival Appalachian State. Coastal has bounced back from a bad loss to Old Dominion with a pair of quality wins, and shouldn’t have much trouble with Southern Miss this week.
5. Troy, last week: 4
The Trojans rallied to score 16 fourth-quarter points in a come-from-behind win over UL-Lafayette which was capped by a Kimani Vidal touchdown run with 10 seconds remaining. It was the sixth consecutive win for Troy, and the Trojans had to grind out this win more than any other. The Trojans Twitter admin was quick to hand out the L:
6. ECU, last week: 5
Despite a loss to Navy in Week 4, the Pirates’ rèsumè is solid. Their other two losses came to No. 17 North Carolina State (a one-point loss) and to Tulane. ECU has pulled off wins over Memphis, UCF, and BYU in the last three weeks, and with bowl season rapidly approaching, the Pirates have a chance to bulk up their rèsumè even more this week against Cincinnati.
7. UTSA, last week: 6
The Roadrunners have picked up two quality wins in their past two games to remain 5-0 in league play and at the top of the C-USA standings. That included an overtime win over a tough UAB team last week and a win against a North Texas team that’s playing its best football of the year. UTSA could very well finish 8-0 in conference play and as a 10-win team, but it won’t necessarily come easy.
8. Boise State, last week: 7
Losing to BYU — who was on a four-game losing streak — probably wasn’t the easiest pill to swallow for the Broncos, but they have an opportunity to quickly put that behind them and get back on the winning track this week against a struggling Nevada team.
9. South Alabama, last week: 9
The Jaguars are bowl eligible for just the third time in their short 13-year history. Even better, the Jaguars are on the brink of winning 10 games, which would be a huge milestone for the program. Three games remain and South Alabama should come away victorious in each.
10. SMU, last week: unranked
Who needs defense when you can score every possession? The Mustangs scored a touchdown on their first nine possessions and had 56 points at the half against Houston last week. The offense will look to keep rolling against South Florida on Saturday.
Dropped out: App State