21 for 2021: 21 most dangerous upset alert games for Power Five teams vs. Group of Five programs.
You want to make a statement as a Group of Five program? You want to sit at the lunch table with the cool kids? Beat the Power Five teams.
The Group of Five – American Athletic, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, Sun Belt – doesn’t have the success you might think it does against the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.
The Gof5ers went 4-8 last season against the P5, and that’s after going 22-81 in 2019.
But they’re there. There are big wins to be had to cripple the seasons of the schools with the big money, bigger names, and snobby expectations.
Here are 21 Group of Five vs. Power Five games to watch out for.
21 for 2021 Preview Topics (so far)
21. Thoughts, Wishes, Hopes for 2021
20. Best Teams To Not Make CFP
19: Teams That Will Rebound Big
18. Teams That Will Fall Back
17: Every Power 5 Team’s Letdown Game
16. Expectations For New Head Coaches
15. Expectations For 2nd Year Head Coaches
14. Power 5 Hot Seat Coach Rankings
13. 21 Key Transfers You Need To Know
21 College Football Group of Five vs. Power Five Upset Alerts
It’s a new era of Ohio football in the first game after the Frank Solich retirement, but there won’t be any sort of a slowdown. Syracuse is the better team, but it’s a road trip to start the season for a program that hasn’t blocked a pass rush in a few years.
Syracuse Preview | Ohio Preview
20. Georgia Southern at Arkansas, Sept. 18
Curveball game alert. It’s about as big a sandwich as this gets for Arkansas, playing Texas the week before and Texas A&M right after. Georgia Southern is 0-10 against Power Five programs since moving into the full-time FCS world in 2014 – more often than not getting stomped – but if the option attack starts to work like it did against Minnesota in 2019 and Alabama in 2011, this could be interesting.
Arkansas Preview | Georgia Southern Preview
In theory, Wisconsin is the perfect team to destroy Army. Through the years, the Badgers generally have had problems with the better passing games and hurry-up attacks. Army’s slow, deliberate running game along with a smallish defensive front should be right in Bucky’s wheelhouse. However, if the knuckleball is working, and if Wisconsin is a bit off after playing Notre Dame, Michigan, and Illinois in the Bret Bielema game, there might be problems.
Army Preview | Wisconsin Preview
18. South Carolina at East Carolina, Sept. 11
Call this the puncher’s chance game. South Carolina will get a warm-up against Eastern Illinois to start the Shane Beamer era, but East Carolina should have a dangerous offense that might catch the Gamecocks looking ahead to the SEC road opener to Georgia up next. The last time ECU had a home game against a Power Five program, it rim-rocked North Carolina 41-19 in 2018.
East Carolina Preview | South Carolina Preview
17. Fresno State at Oregon, Sept. 4
Be very, very careful here. Fresno State has a Pac-12-caliber quarterback in Jake Haener leading a high-powered offense that’s going to keep on pushing. It might be the season opener for the Ducks, but their attention might already be on the monster date at Ohio State the following week. Speaking of Pac-12 vs. Big Ten focus …
Fresno State Preview | Oregon Preview
16. Arkansas State at Washington, Sept. 18
Can Washington hit the four-foot putt? The Huskies should be able to roll if they’re fully focused, but this comes right after the trip to Michigan and just before the Pac-12 opener against Cal. Ask 2020 Kansas State what Arkansas State can do – the Red Wolves pulled off a 35-31 shocker – and new head coach Butch Jones has a dangerous team. Speaking of Sun Belt road stunners …
Arkansas State Preview | Washington Preview