Tolly Predictions: CFB Conference Title Games – G5 Edition

The Post Season Has Begun, It’s Time to Crown Some Champions.

The outcome of these games will not determine who makes the final iteration of the 4 team playoff. That will have to wait till next year when a G5 champion is guaranteed a spot in the 12 team playoff. There is, however, the matter of which G5 champ earns the coveted NY6 Bowl Bid. Below are my predictions for the G5 Conference Championship games, and how I think the race for a NY6 bowl game plays out. 

  • Odds listed refer to spreads taken from FanDuel at the time of writing
  • All kickoff times listed are Central Time

Conference USA (C-USA):

New Mexico State at Liberty (-10.5) – Friday, 6:00 PM

New Mexico State 10
Liberty 35

Liberty is undefeated, but their schedule is a joke. I doubt they will go to a NY6 game, even if they are undefeated conference champs. 

Mid-America Conference (MAC):

Miami (OH) vs Toledo (-8.5) – Saturday, 11:00 AM, Ford Field 

Miami (OH) 14
Toledo 33

Toledo is a good football team. Their only loss is a close game at Illinois. With a win in the MAC Title Game, they have an outside shot at a NY6 bowl berth.

Mountain West Conference (MW):

Boise State at UNLV (+3.5) – Saturday, 2:00 PM

Boise State 35

UNLV is one of the best turnaround stories of the year. This is their 1st winning season since 2013 (and their 2nd ever since joining FBS in 2006). Boise State fired their coach 3 weeks ago and is now in a position to win the conference. This should be a great game out west, regardless of who wins. 

It’s also nice that UNLV’s home field is Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. 

Sun Belt Conference (SBC):

App State at Troy (-6.5) – Saturday, 3:00 PM

App State 28
Troy 23

The real tragedy is that JMU, the best Sun Belt team, isn’t eligible to play in the conference title game. It’s called the Fun Belt for a reason, so I’m picking the upset.

American Athletic Conference (AAC):

SMU at Tulane (-4.5) – Saturday, 3:00 PM

SMU 38
Tulane 30

If Tulane wins, they get the NY6 bid. Their only loss all season would be to a top 10 Ole Miss team. Unfortunately for them, I think they will blow it. SMU is a very good team with their only 2 losses also coming against P5 competition. 

Who Gets the NY6 Spot?

The Options:

  • 11-2 SMU
  • 9-4 App State
  • 8-5 Boise State
  • 12-1 Toledo
  • 13-0 Liberty

There are really 3 legitimate options: Liberty, Toledo, and SMU. Liberty has the worst schedule but is undefeated. SMU has the hardest schedule (The American is a solid conference), but they have 2 losses. And Toledo is somewhere in the middle. 

Personally, I’d take Toledo. I think the MAC is better than it’s been given credit for this year. Liberty’s schedule really is that bad, and SMU’s loss to TCU has aged like milk. But, I think the committee goes in a different direction. They will view the American as an overall better football product, and they can just ignore SMU’s loss to Oklahoma… because Toledo never played a team ranked that high. 

NY6 Bowl Bid: 
SMU Mustangs

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This article was written by Cole Tollison and edited by Hayden Breene

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