Metro College Football Rankings, Week 7: Huge Win Creates New No. 1
SYRACUSE, NY - OCTOBER 13: Ervin Philips #3 of the Syracuse Orange celebrates the upset win over Clemson Tigers after fans storm the field at the Carrier Dome on October 13, 2017 in Syracuse, New York. Syracuse defeats Clemson 27-24. (Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images)

With all due respect to 5-2 Army, a certain ORANGE team’s victory over another gives way to a new #1 on our Metro Group of Five.

Brace yourselves, Army fans …

In a (mostly) victorious weekend for our Metro Group of Five, Army earned their fifth win of the season, the most among our rankings, but the bar was set on Friday night when one…orange…team beat another.

It all leads to a new #1….

1. Syracuse (4-3)

  • Last Week: W 27-24 vs #2 Clemson on Friday
  • Top Performer: QB Eric Dungey (20-of-32, 278 yards, 3 TDs)
  • This Week: @ #8 Miami (FL) (Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

You deserve a little something for topping the defending national champions and second-ranked team in the nation! The Orange took an early lead before hanging on, as Dungey put up a stellar performance against the much-improved Tigers defense. It’s the first time the Orange have beaten Clemson in ACC play, and the first time they defeated an AP Top 10 opponent since 2002 when they took down then-#7 Virginia Tech in triple overtime. The road to bowl eligibility, however, doesn’t get easier for the Orange, who face undefeated Miami and Florida State next. The Orange last defeated ranked opponents in back-to-back weeks in 1983.

2. Army (5-2)

  • Last Week: W 28-27 vs Eastern Michigan on Saturday 
  • Top Performer: QB Ahmad Bradshaw (0-for-3, 19 carries, 171 yards, 1 TD)
  • Next Week: vs Temple (Saturday at Noon on CBS Sports Network)

With all due respect to Army, you can’t have a one-point win over EMU compete with a win over Clemson of any kind. Nonetheless, the Knights are one more win away from bowl eligibility, taking down the Eagles in dramatic fashion. After EMU scored late in fourth to cut the lead to one, Army stopped three separate two-point conversion attempts, brought on by timing issues and penalties, to secure the win, and avoid a second loss in the final minute (the other being their Week 2 loss to Tulane).

3. Buffalo (3-4)

  • Last Week: L 14-13 vs Northern Illinois on Saturday
  • Top Performer: WR Anthony Johnson (7 receptions, 140 yards)
  • This Week: @ Miami (Ohio) (Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on ESPN3.com)

The Bulls scored 68 points in a loss two weeks ago, so of course, they only scored 13 this week and ended up losing. Despite allowing over 400 yards of offense, the Bulls were able to hold perennial MAC-contending Huskies to only 14 points, all scored in the second quarter. The offense, however, struggled, as they picked up only 55 yards on 23 carries as a team. The Bulls may have a big quarterback problem ahead as well. Already down Tyree Jackson, Drew Anderson suffered a shoulder injury, and may not play against the Redhawks. If necessary, it’ll go down to true freshman Kyle Vantrease, who threw for 153 yards and an interception in the losing effort.

4. Connecticut (2-4)

  • Last Week: W 28-24 @ Temple on Saturday
  • Top Performer: DB Tyler Coyle (6 tackles, 1 INT, 1 TD)
  • This Week: vs Tulsa (Saturday at Noon on ESPNU)

It took six games, but the Huskies finally beat an FBS opponent and finally got a defensive stop when it mattered. The redshirt freshman Coyle helped the Huskies maintain momentum with a third-quarter pick-six, extending the lead to 28-14. UConn held on despite picking up only 67 yards in the fourth quarter, but the much-maligned defense rose to the occasion. Though the Owls narrowed the final margin, the unit forced them into turnovers on down on their final two drives, preserving the victory. They’ll now take on Tulsa for the first time in program history.

5. Rutgers (2-4)

  • Last Week: W 35-24 @ Illinois
  • Top Performer: RB Gus Edwards (21 carries, 91 yards, 2 TDs)
  • This Week: vs Purdue (Noon on BTN)

The Scarlet Knights looked strong against a conference opponent, leading by as much as 18 on the road. The defense, in particular, secured the victory, stopping late Illinois attempts to cut into the lead, and forcing three turnovers. This will be the Knights’ first-ever matchup against Big Ten foe Purdue, who has improved from their woebegone state they’ve spent most of the decade in. The Knight can build some solid momentum against the Boilermakers, especially at home.

Geoff Magliocchetti on Twitter @GeoffMags5490



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