The gap between the P5 and mid-majors seem to be closing

Arizona State starting the season 2-0 with blowout wins over Southern Utah and UNLV normally get scoffed at and dismissed as glorified preseason games. 

However, compared to how teams among the Power 5 have been dropping the ball against teams of the Group of 5 and FCS ranks, maybe Sun Devils fans should not take those wins for granted anymore. 

“They’re a college football team, not a high school football team,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “They give those guys scholarships, too.”

There has been a growing trend this season of Power 5 teams having trouble against lower level counterparts. 

The first week of the season saw FCS beat six FBS opponents including Montana upsetting Washington, who were ranked No. 20 at the time. The opening week also saw Washington State, Duke, Cal, Illinois and Georgia Tech fall to FBS opponents. 

There weren’t as many upsets this week but there were a lot of close calls. No. 22 Miami almost followed up an embarrassing loss to Alabama with an even more embarrassing loss to Appalachian State. It took a game winning field goal to save the Hurricanes’ hide. 

No. 8 Notre Dame also needed some fourth quarter magic to topple Toledo 32-29. South Carolina needed a game winning field goal just to beat East Carolina. Same goes for Vanderbilt against Colorado State. Oklahoma State and Minnesota both won by only five points against Tulsa and Miami OH. Kansas State had a harder time with Southern Illinois than it did against Stanford the week before. 

There was one upset and if involved Florida State. Jacksonville State shocked the Seminoles  20-13 by scoring 13 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Florida native Damond Philyaw-Johnson’s only catch in the game was a 59-yard touchdown reception on the final play of the game. 

Just goes to show in 2021, you can’t take a victory over a G5 or FCS team for granted. So where are the potential upsets next week? Will Nevada advance to 3-0 with a win over Kansas State? Tulane could potentially knock off Ole Miss. Maybe Temple serves Boston College its first loss of the season. Tulsa was close but no cigar against Oklahoma State but maybe Boise State gets the job done against the Cowboys next week.

Heck, at this point, maybe Northern Arizona finally beats Arizona.

About: Tony Capobianco


Sports Kave senior writer and podcast host

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