Until about now, the Group of Five has been an interested spectator in this crazy game called college football realignment.
The trend is simply this: Consolidation.
Simply put, the seismic shift is that the two major conferences, the SEC and the Big 10, are going to be superconferences and, while the goal is not to marginalize the other three Power 5 conferences, that is exactly what is happening.
Group of Five?
What was an afterthought is becoming moreso so why not be as aggressive as the two major conferences are?
The thinking here is that there is not much for the G5 to lose at this point.
A superconference of G5 schools would not adversely affect the current landscape in the G5 now and might help it.
In other words, for the G5 to have a seat at any potential playoff table–and that should be the goal–one conference of G5 teams might be enough to force the hand of the Power 5.
If not an automatic bid, then maybe some kind of litigation striping the P5 of its ability to marginalize the G5 would work.
It’s worth a try.
If anything, the Group of Five schools have proven they can beat the P5 schools on a regular basis.
Last year, Cincinnati went into Notre Dame and won as did Memphis beating a Mississippi State team (which beat Texas A&M, which beat Alabama). Memphis lost to probably the worst-coached Temple team in history.
We all know Temple, in back-to-back years, beat Penn State and came within a touchdown of beating a Big 10 champion (also Penn State) the next year on the road. Temple won, 37-7, at SEC member Vanderbilt in 2014 and hammered Maryland of the Big 10 on the road, 35-14, in 2018 and returned the favor the next year, 20-17, when Maryland came into Lincoln Financial Field ranked No. 21 in the country.
Coastal Carolina beat Kansas in consecutive years and, in one of those years, Kansas beat Texas.
Liberty beat Syracuse.
UTSA won not only at Memphis but at Power 5 Illinois.
There are plenty of G5 victories over P5 teams to point to, really, too many to mention in this space.
If the G5 had never beaten P5 teams, there could be a solid argument to be made to exclude them from the playoffs but there are examples every year that their champion deserves a chance.
Maybe producing one G5 champion from a G5 Superconference would bolster that argument. Whatever it would behoove the G5 to make some news when all of the offseason noise right now is coming elsewhere.
If you can beat them but they won’t let you at the playoff table, force their hand by forming a superconference, too. If they deny you a seat at the table, file a suit.
It might work. It might not but laying back and letting them screw you should not be an option.
Monday: Breaking Good
Friday: 5 Individual Achievements That Could Happen
July 18: What they’re saying