Where did the college football season go? We’re closing in on bowl season, which is equal parts exciting and saddening, as the college football season will soon reach its end.
Fortunately, we still have two November weekends left. At the Group of Five level, that means intense battles across leagues as teams fight to earn conference championships. Who will finish atop the AAC regular season standings? Is anyone a real threat to Toledo in the MAC?
There are plenty of matchups worth watching this weekend, including a pair of exciting AAC showdowns. Here are five Group of Five games I’m keeping my eye on this weekend. As a reminder, I use college football betting odds as a factor in determining the top games of the week.
5. UAB at LSU, Saturday, 9 p.m. ET
LSU (8-2, 6-1 SEC) clinched the SEC West last weekend, an incredible feat in Brian Kelly’s first season in Baton Rouge. The Tigers are a quality team ranked within the top 10 of major polls, a ranking they’ve earned throughout SEC action.
While UAB is only 5-5 overall and 3-4 in C-USA play, I’m interested in this game because the Blazers are only 14.5-point underdogs, and UAB running back DeWayne McBride is a star. This is a potential letdown spot for LSU after a remarkable SEC stretch, and I’m willing to watch Saturday night to see if the Blazers can keep it close into the second half.
4. Ohio at Ball State, Tuesday, 7 p.m. ET
An exciting midweek MACtion showdown, Ohio (7-3, 5-1 MAC) leads the MAC’s East division. Ball State (5-5, 3-3 MAC) trails Toledo in the West, but the Cardinals’ three conference losses have all come by one possession. Ball State also needs one more win to become bowl eligible with six wins on the season. I don’t see Ohio (-4) winning in blowout fashion, and an Ohio loss could add intrigue to the East division title hunt. Can’t ask for much more from a midweek MAC game!
3. Houston at East Carolina, Saturday, 2 p.m.
Houston (6-4, 4-2 AAC) has scored at least 38 points in each of its last four games (3-1 during that stretch), and ECU (6-4, 3-3 AAC) is also 3-1 over its last four games with wins over Memphis, UCF, and BYU and a two-point loss at Cincinnati. These teams aren’t at the very top of the AAC standings, but they’re both bowl eligible and playing fantastic football.
This game doesn’t have massive stakes, but it’s still two really good teams from a compelling league facing off in November. This game should be enjoyable, especially if you like scoring.
2. Boise State at Wyoming, Saturday, 7 p.m. ET
The top two teams in the Mountain West’s Mountain division square off Saturday night. Wyoming (7-3, 5-1 MWC) thrives in close games, going 4-0 in games decided by one possession. Boise State (7-3, 6-0 MWC) has struggled in nonconference action, but the Broncos are running over league foes. Can Boise State maintain that positive momentum on the road against a Wyoming team surpassing preseason expectations? Oddsmakers like Boise State (-14) to keep its undefeated conference record alive.
1. SMU at Tulane, Thursday, 7 p.m. ET
Tulane (8-2, 5-1 AAC) fell to UCF last weekend, but the Green Wave have still put together a special season. They’re still in the mix to make the AAC title game, and Thursday’s game is critically important. SMU (6-4, 3-2 AAC) has won three consecutive games, scoring 40 points or more in each of the three games. Two of the top teams in the best Group of Five league face off on Thursday night, and it’s worth a watch.