Who’s the best of the Group of 5?

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John F. Silver

It’s called the Group of 5.

Yes it’s a bland name, and it’s for essentially bland teams. The Group of 5 are the five football conferences that are right now the have nots of college football. The Power Conferences — ACC, SEC, B!G, Big 12 and Pac-12– are the Power Five, the Equity Five, or the five with the most money, most power and most clout.

The Group of 5, which of course UConn is a member of in the American Athletic Conference, is left at the mercy of what the Power 5 want to do.

There is hope though for the Group of 5 and specifically the American. The College Football Playoff begins this year and there is a way for the Group of 5 teams to get into the major bowl games.

UConn, which up until now was in an auto bid conference, can make one of the major bowl games — Fiesta, Cotton or Peach Bowl (Chick Fil-A) by winning their conference and ALSO being the highest rated non-power conference team in the CFB committee rankings.

What does that mean?


An unranked UConn team that went to the Fiesta Bowl will never happen again.  The ranking is used to prevent that kind of team from ever gaining access to a major bowl game again.

So, watching what the other four conferences do is important. The American made the Fiesta Bowl last year, which UCF destroyed Baylor in, as an automatic bid. If the College Football Playoff was instituted last year the American would have received the bid as well. But, it would have been a sweat for most of the season.

The final regular season AP Poll (which I am using in lieu of the committee) had UCF ranked No. 15 in the nation. Fresno State was 22nd out of the MWC and North Illinois was No. 24 out of the MAC.

For much of the year Fresno was ranked right next to UCF and only a late season loss sealed their ranking.

So what to expect this year?

Here are some of the top teams to watch in the Group of 5. To read more of this story, click here

AAC names Jacobs to women’s basketball post

By Carl Adamec

The American Athletic Conference stayed in-house to find its new associate commissioner for women’s basketball.

AAC commissioner Mike Aresco announced Friday that Barbara Jacobs, who has worked with the conference since 1995, has been promoted to the position. Jacobs replaces Danielle Donehew, who left to become the executive director of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association.

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Olander turning to baseball

John F. Silver

The first thought when you hear Tyler Olander and baseball is chuckle.

A 6-foot-9 lefty throwing a baseball?

It’s happening.

In an interesting twist via Mike Anthony at the Hartford Courant, the former forward is playing in the Twilight League for the Vernon Orioles.

I’ve covered the Twilight League over the past decade and have been to playoff games. The quality is college level skill and there are many a good players and former college and pro players that reside in the league. The league is a bit of a throwback with players coming and going at will.

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Commit No. 12: TE Chris Lee, Severna Park, Md.

John F. Silver

The Summer vacation season hasn’t stopped UConn on the recruiting trail.

The Huskies picked up another long, athletic and big prospect nabbing Severna Park, Maryland tight end Chris Lee.

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KML becomes Huskies’ senior citizen

By Carl Adamec

Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis looked up to others in her first three years with the University of Connecticut women’s basketball team. And she played a key role in helping Kelly Faris and Caroline Doty in 2013 and Bria Hartley and Stefanie Dolson a season ago attain perfect endings to their college careers.

Now the Anaheim Hills, Calif., native hopes it’s her turn to go in style and she understands her teammates will be looking to her.

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UConn football: Big things expected from Davis

John F. Silver

Geremy Davis doesn’t go anywhere without a football.

Davis

UConn’s rising senior wide receiver is known to always have a prompt during an interview after games. On game days a football is an extension of his body. Davis walks into the locker room with a ball and does post-game interviews with a ball in his hands.

It’s familiarity and comfort for Davis. He wants to become one with the ball that way it finds him when he’s on the football field.

The only time Davis isn’t without a ball on game days is when he’s on the field. That’s only temporary however. When he’s on the field the ball has managed to find Davis well enough too.

UConn’s top wide receiver threat had 71 catches for 1,085 yards last year and three touchdowns. He went over the 1,000 yard mark on the season the final game of last season and also set a UConn record with 15 catches in the season finale.

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Geremy Davis on Biletnikoff Award Watch List

UConn wide receiver Geremy Davis has been named to the 2014 Biletnikoff Award Pre-Season Watch List.

The Biletnikoff Award annually recognizes the outstanding receiver in college football and is presented by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation, Inc.

Davis is currently ranked No. 9 in UConn history in receptions with 121 and is No. 10 in receiving yardage at 1,771.

The 2014 Biletnikoff Award winner will be presented live on December 11, 2014, on The Home Depot College Football Awards Show to be broadcast from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. on ESPN. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Fred Biletnikoff will announce the 2014 winner on the show.

No better feeling for Samuelson than winning gold

By Carl Adamec

When Katie Lou Samuelson’s travel bag was lost on the United States national team’s journey from France to the Czech Republic for the FIBA U-17 world championships, she had to wonder what could go wrong next.

Samuelson had already missed Team USA’s tune-up tournament in France due to tonsillitis, which hit her on the trip to Europe from Colorado Springs. She lost 10 pounds and was in bed for four days with a fever and was unable to eat.
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Will Jackson to Georgia After Decommitting from UConn

Originally posted on ZagsBlog.com:

Will Jackson has decommitted from UConn and given a verbal commitment to the University of Georgia.

“I’m going to UGA,” Jackson told Scout.com. “It’s close to home. I just feel like it’s a great fit with me, coach [Mark] Fox and the coaches and players.”

Jackson, a 6-foot-4, 175 pound 2015 combo guard from Athens Christian (Ga.), originally chose the Huskies over offers from Georgia, Florida, Memphis, Kansas, Georgia Tech and Alabama.

UConn last week landed a pledge from 2015 point guard Jalen Adams.

“Here’s a guess: When you win a national championship, you get about anybody you want,” Athens Christian coach Ron Linktold the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “So UConn might’ve gotten a point guard just as good or better. Turtle keeps up with everything going on in recruiting.

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