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Group of Five Teams Ready to Make a Run

Farrell Files - Group of Five Teams

Farrell Files - Group of Five Teams

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]In the latest iteration of the Farrell Files, I've got five teams who have an outside shot, a very very outside shot, at pulling a Group of Five run soon.

In the past decade, we've seen programs like Boise State, UCF, and most recently Cincinnati make some serious noise from the Group of 5 level and break into the national conversation. Here's a list of five more Group of Five programs that could make the leap.

1. Houston

I love QB Clayton Tune and this is a talented Houston roster under Dana Holgersen. The Cougars should have one of the conference's top offenses with Tune and WR Nathaniel Dell but watch for the defense as they bring back six starters from a unit that limited teams to 20.4 points a game last season. Non-conference games against UTSA, Kansas, and Texas Tech aren’t fun but they avoid UCF or Cincinnati in the regular season. And heading to the Big 12, recruiting will improve even more so they are set for a nice run when they hit the Power Five as well.

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2. SMU

We all know about SMU's heyday and the ensuing death penalty. One of the biggest reasons for putting them this high on the list though is because SMU has the advantage of being in Dallas, one of the best recruiting territories in the country. Their proximity to high-level talent and a wide-open offense puts them in prime position to make the leap. Rhett Lashlee and Tanner Mordecai will make sure the offense is potent again (unless Preston Stone pulls a surprise) and it will come down to defensive play and a big game against TCU in game four.

3. Memphis

Memphis has made tremendous gains as a program, having now made a bowl game in nine consecutive seasons and not having any real dips despite having their two previous coaches jump to Power 5 jobs. Ryan Silverfield has proven that he's a great offensive mind, and they've been putting multiple skill players in the pros almost every year.

4. UTSA

One of the best stories from last season, the Roadrunners are poised to make huge gains over the coming years. Like SMU, they're in a talent-rich state but unlike SMU, they've got the town of San Antonio to themselves. The biggest issue for them going forward is going to be holding on to Jeff Traylor - he's extraordinarily highly regarded, especially among Texas high school coaches, so if the administration can keep him around, they should be able to get better and better recruits year over year. Never heard of QB Frank Harris? You will.

5. San Diego State

The Aztecs have been among the most consistent winning programs in the past decade, having gone bowling every year since 2010, and hitting double digits in the win column in five of the last six full seasons. They've proven they can really develop guys as well, and if they're able to get 1-2 real game-breakers, especially at the quarterback position, they could take off.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]