With two of the top four teams from last week’s poll losing and three new teams making appearances, there’s a shakeup throughout this week’s Group of Five Power Poll. In fact, the only team that remains in the same spot as last week is Cincinnati.
1. Cincinnati, last week: 1
Not much has changed for the Bearcats coming out of their bye week. Cincy still remains atop of our rankings and still remains at No. 21 in the Associated Press top 25 poll. The Bearcats head to SMU this weekend as 3-point favorites, according to the college football betting odds via BetMGM.
2. UCF, last week: 3
The Knights received 13 top 25 votes, which deem deserving considering the recent stretch they’ve been on. UCF has outscored its previous two opponents (SMU & Temple) 111-32. The next two weeks will test this squad, as they travel to East Carolina and then host Cincinnati.
3. Tulane, last week: 5
Tulane has gradually crept up our poll over the last three weeks and continued to garner national attention while doing so. With that comes a No. 25 ranking for the Green Wave, who sit at 3-0 in a gritty AAC conference. Next up is a Memphis squad that’ll be looking to get its bad taste out of its mouth after suffering a four-overtime loss to ECU last week.
4. South Alabama, last week: 7
The last two outings haven’t necessarily been that great for the Jaguars. Three weeks ago they barely outlasted Louisiana-Lafayette and then followed a bye with a 41-34 win over Louisiana-Monroe as 17.5-point favorites. Regardless, the Jaguars are picking up wins, putting together one of the best seasons in program history, and are on the brink of securing their first bowl appearance since 2016.
5. JMU, last week: 2
There was a lot to take away from the Dukes’ first-ever loss at the FBS level. And after a start for the ages, JMU got brought back down to earth in a 45-38 defeat to Georgia Southern. That still doesn’t take away from the impressive start, but a key takeaway seven weeks into the season is JMU’s schedule hasn’t exactly been the toughest. We’ll see how JMU responds.
6. UTSA, last week: 9
The Roadrunners enter arguably their most important game thus far in a matchup with North Texas. They’re both 3-0 in C-USA and the only unbeaten teams in the league. UTSA is coming off a 20-point win over a lowly FIU team. The Mean Green have stumbled at times this season, but have handled business in the conference. It should be a shootout between a pair of teams that combine to put up 76 points per game.
7. Troy, last week: 6
Troy hasn’t had much movement throughout the poll over the last three weeks. That will almost certainly change after Thursday night’s contest with South Alabama, which is one of this week’s games to watch. The Trojans survived against Texas State last week behind a go-ahead fourth-quarter score.
8. Toledo, last week: unranked
The Rockets make their debut in the poll while on a three-game winning streak. They were able to shake off a 1-2 start to the season and sit atop the MAC, which has been sort of ho-hum this season.
9. Boise State, last week: unranked
After not seeming like its usual dominant self, Boise State is back in the driver’s seat in the Mountain West. Are the Broncos better than San Jose State? Time will tell. It’s a shame those teams won’t meet up in the regular season. However, Boise is the only remaining unbeaten team in the league, something that could certainly change this week with a road trip at Air Force on tap.
10. UAB, last week: unranked
UAB will face its toughest opponent to date as it travels to WKU for a Friday night affair. Both teams sit at 2-1 in C-USA play, and the winner will have some momentum as they enter the backend of league play.
Dropped out: Rice, San Jose State, Coastal Carolina