19 for ’19: 19 key offseason topics: No. 10 Five college football teams with the best shot at getting the New Year’s Six Bowl slot.
Houston, Boise State, Western Michigan, UCF, and then UCF again. Those are your five Group of Five champions who got a bone thrown to them with an automatic bid into a New Year’s Six bowl game.
It’s not the College Football Playoff, but it’s still a high honor.
All five teams represented themselves well, with the Group of Fivers going 3-2 since the bowl slot was created. This year, if the top GOF champ doesn’t get into the College Football Playoff, it’ll go to the Cotton Bowl to face an at-large team in the final CFP rankings.
Which five teams this season have the best shot at getting the spotlight game?
5. Marshall Thundering Herd
Ready for the slight curveball to be thrown into the mix? Marshall has quietly been strong for the last several seasons, but they might just have the right blend of schedule and talent to get over the hump and into the New Year’s Six.
The road game at Boise State is the big barrier. Win that, and it’s Game On, with no games against Power Five programs and with every game on the slate more than winnable.
Even with a loss to the Broncos on the blue turf, the NY6 is still possible with the four other road games at Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic, Rice and Charlotte.
The home games against Ohio, Cincinnati and Louisiana Tech aren’t going to be a breeze, but any team worthy of going to the New Year’s Six has to take those down.
The defensive front seven might need some retooling, but the offense will be more than good enough to make up for it. The team is more than good enough to get to 11-1 and win the Conference USA title.