5. SMU Mustangs
Current Conference: American Athletic Conference
Location: Dallas, TX
Right in the thick of Big 12 football country lies the SMU Mustangs. Dallas is a hub for the Big 12 and the Mustangs could give a nice buffer to split this conference up into north and south divisions. It would also provide yet another regional rival for schools like the Baylor Bears and TCU Horned Frogs.
SMU is one of the better stories among all Group of Five teams across the country this year. They carry a perfect record into a big time Saturday Night showdown against the No. 24 Memphis Tigers this weekend. That could be one of the biggest games that decides who will represent the Group of Five in a New Year’s Six Bowl this season.
However, SMU is even more fun to watch this season due to all the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball. There’s a good chance that the offensive system ran under former Cal Golden Bears head coach Sonny Dykes is better for SMU than under former head coach (currently with the Arkansas Razorbacks) Chad Morris.
SMU is led by the former Texas Longhorns football four-star recruit and redshirt junior quarterback Shane Buechele this season. The former Longhorn Buechele is having a big season with more than 2,300 passing yards and 20 touchdowns currently. Redshirt senior running back Xavier Jones is also making SMU very fun to watch this season with 14 rushing touchdowns already.