Liberty Flames Claim Top G5 Spot In May USA Today College Football Rankings

Dec 1, 2023; Lynchburg, VA, USA; Liberty Flames quarterback Kaidon Salter (7) holds up the Conference USA MVP trophy after the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Williams Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bishop-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 1, 2023; Lynchburg, VA, USA; Liberty Flames quarterback Kaidon Salter (7) holds up the Conference USA MVP trophy after the game against the New Mexico State Aggies at Williams Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Bishop-USA TODAY Sports / Brian Bishop-USA TODAY Sports

Following the conclusion of spring practices nationwide, USA Today released new and comprehensive rankings for the entirety of FBS. Coming in the #29 overall spot, the Liberty Flames were the highest ranked team from a non-power conference on the list.

Other notable G5 teams closely behind Liberty were Boise State at #32, James Madison at #34, and Memphis at #35.

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In 2023, Liberty were the Group of Five's representative in the New Year's Six, going up against the Oregon Ducks in the Fiesta Bowl. They finished last year's campaign with a record of 13-1. The Flames also captured the Conference USA championship in their first season as members of the league.

With starting quarterback Kaidon Salter back in the saddle, as well as sturdy running back Quinton Cooley, head coach Jamey Chadwell's team have good reason for the high expectations, despite losses of key veterans on the defensive side of the ball.

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The Flames play their first game of the 2024 season on August 31 when they host the Campbell Camels of the FCS. The Flames are also an early favorite for the Conference USA crown once again. If they play a similar style of football as their Fiesta Bowl run last season, they'll have a strong chance of reaching the College Footbal Playoff.

The Group of Five team with the highest ranking from the College Football Playoff selection committee will be included in 12-team field.


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Joe Londergan

JOE LONDERGAN

Joe covers college sports from the Group of Five ranks and beyond. He has worked in the sports industry since 2008, earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville, and a Master's degree from Seattle University.