2. The Most Underrated Thing Was …
Tulsa beating UCF … again.
Tulsa has been awful at college football over the last few years.
After a 10-3 2016 season, the program went 8-28 against FBS teams before going into the date at UCF this weekend. The Golden Hurricane shocked the Knights 34-31 last season, and they did it again with a 34-26 win that was even more impressive.
And with that, there goes the realistic hopes of a Group of Five program making it into the College Football Playoff.
The Mountain West will start too late and won’t have any of the non-conference games to boost up a Boise State or San Diego State.
The MAC won’t get anyone in after it gets going, and Conference USA is never going to get enough respect.
An unbeaten Sun Belt champion should absolutely be in the College Football Playoff over a Big 12 champ – if it comes down to that – but it’ll never, ever, ever happen.
That leaves the American Athletic Conference.
The polls – even though they don’t matter in the CFP discussion – gave Memphis a whole lot of love and respect, and now all that’s gone with the loss this week to SMU. The Mustangs are fine, and they’re 4-0, but they’re not strong enough to roll through the schedule unbeaten.
Cincinnati is right there, but at the end of the day, an unbeaten season won’t mean a whole lot with the one decent non-conference win coming over Army.
11th in both polls, the love is there for the Bearcats, but … at Tulsa, at SMU, Memphis, Houston, at UCF, at Temple. Along with East Carolina – who gave the Bearcats problems last year – that’s too tough a schedule to get through unscathed.
No, UCF was it.
It had the brand name, it had the blowout win over Georgia Tech, and if it could’ve gone through the schedule unbeaten, wins over Memphis, Houston, Temple, and Cincinnati – which all still might happen – would be enough to earn consideration if the team could’ve been clean with an American Athletic Conference title.
Tulsa ended all of that, and now it’s a battle for the Group of Five conferences for the automatic New Year’s Six slot.