College football is now well underway in 2019. Week 7 is approaching, and fans should now have a general idea of how well some teams can finish this season.
The group of five conferences will be sending at least one team to a New Year’s Six Bowl. This year it will be the Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic. The team that makes it will likely get a shot against a power five team that has a great season, giving the group of five a shot at showing their talent on the national stage. Here are some week 7 college football games in the group of five that can affect which team goes to the Cotton Bowl:
Appalachian State Mountaineers (4-0) vs. Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns (4-1)
When: Wednesday, October 9 | 8:00 PM EST
Since the Sun Belt introduced football in 2001, they’ve never had a team play in a New Year’s Six Bowl. That can change this year. 2018 Sun Belt Offensive Player of the Year Zac Thomas is back for the Mountaineers. Their Junior quarterback has helped the team start 4-0. This includes a win over the North Carolina Tarheels. The Mountaineers can certainly build their resume with a prime time win over a talented Louisiana team.
Another reason that App St. could make the Cotton Bowl is that they have an SEC game remaining on the schedule against South Carolina. Should the Mountaineers win that game along with the Sun Belt, they can find themselves being the first Sun Belt team in a New Year’s Six Bowl.
Louisiana already has a loss, but it was a competitive 38-28 defeat to a tough Mississippi State team. A win here in week 7 could give them some recognition around college football. However, this is likely one of the Cajuns’ toughest games remaining. With that said, a loss in their only power five matchup could come back to hurt them should they win out for the rest of the season. Either way, this team will likely be in a bowl game and is forming a memorable season.
No. 23 Memphis Tigers (5-0) vs. Temple Owls (4-1)
When: Saturday, October 12 | 12:00 PM EST
Mike Norvell will take his ranked Memphis squad to Philly for a conference game against Temple. The 5-0 Tigers started their season by showcasing their defense in a 15-10 win over Ole Miss. This was big for them because a lot of people see them as better offensively, but holding an SEC team to 10 points can certainly build a resume. They’ll get a shot against a notable Temple team on an ESPN network this weekend to try and keep their Cotton Bowl chances strong. It’s still weeks away, but Memphis plays against Cincinnati to end their regular season. Quite frankly, this game could potentially end up determining what group of five team makes the New Year’s Six.
The Temple Owls had a shaky loss to Buffalo this season, the final being 38-22. However, they do have two wins over power five teams. They beat a Maryland team who was ranked at the time and had just beaten Syracuse 63-20 the week before. The other power five win was against a struggling Georgia Tech team. Tech’s only points came from a safety, which is impressive for Temple’s defense even if the Yellow Jackets look bleak this season. They’ll want to carry that defensive momentum into their week 7 meeting with Memphis.
Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (4-1) vs. No. 14 Boise State Broncos (5-0)
When: Saturday, October 12 | 10:15 PM EST
The Hawaii Rainbow Warriors will have a big test in week 7 against not only one of the best group of five teams, but one of the best college football teams in the country. The Rainbow Warriors are off to a solid 4-1 start, dropping an expected game to Washington. Both sides of the ball clicked for Hawaii in their last game, as they absolutely crushed Nevada 54-3 on the road. That same type of talent will want to show up and be ready if they want to shock Boise State on blue turf Saturday night.
Boise State has been taking care of business this season. After their huge comeback win against Florida State on the road, they’ve been undefeated since. In week 2, they won a tough battle with Marshall 14-7. Since then, they have won all of their games by double digits. Hank Bachmeier looks to be who head coach Bryan Harsin wants to start this season, though Chase Cord is a use-able option if need be. Boise State may need to be undefeated, or at least a 1-loss team at the end of the regular season if they want a high chance of playing in the Cotton Bowl.
Feature Image Courtesy of The Commercial Appeal.