Seven Teams Reach Six Victories, Clinch Bowl Eligibility
All seven teams that had a chance to reach the six-win mark last weekend came through with flying colors.
Clemson (Atlantic Coast Conference), Penn State (Big Ten), San Diego State (Mountain West), Washington and Washington State (Pac-12) and Alabama and Georgia (Southeastern) all rolled to wins to become the first teams to reach bowl eligibility this season.
There are now 71 more spots available for the 39 bowl games, which includes the four College Football Playoff teams. Two FBS teams, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, are not eligible for postseason play.
Eleven teams are now sitting at five wins, and eight of them are in action this weekend. Four teams — Charlotte, San Jose State, UMass and UTEP — are one loss away from being eliminated from bowl contention.
RoadTripSports.com will break down which teams are bowl eligible and how many postseason spots are still open each week throughout the remainder of the regular season.
American Athletic Conference — The USF Bulls, a trendy long-shot pick to make it to the College Football Playoff, can get to six wins with a win over Cincinnati at home. Navy is also undefeated and a victory away from clinching bowl eligibility, but the Midshipmen have a much tougher test than USF with a road trip to four-win Memphis. UCF, Houston and SMU also have four victories. The American has seven bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — The NC State Wolfpack will look to continue their hot start to the season with win number six this weekend at Pitt. NC State is fresh off a nifty 39-25 victory over Louisville. Virginia Tech also has five wins, but the Hokies have a bye this week. Five more ACC teams — Duke, Louisville, Miami (FL), Virginia and Wake Forest — have reached four victories. The ACC has 11 bowl affiliations.
Big 12 Conference —The red-hot TCU Horned Frogs moved to 5-0 last weekend with a home win over West Virginia. The Horned Frogs travel to K-State this weekend to try for win number six. Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech are all 4-1. The Big 12 has six bowl tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference — Postseason regulars Ohio State and Wisconsin should both wrap up a sixth victory this weekend with games against Nebraska and Purdue, respectively. Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State have all reached four wins. The Big Ten has 10 bowl affiliations.
Conference USA — What team is flying a little under the radar this season? Marshall, Marshall, Marshall. The Thundering Herd won their third straight game with a 14-3 win over Charlotte last week. Marshall’s only loss this season is to NC State, and the Thundering Herd can grab their fifth win of the season against Old Dominion this weekend. No other C-USA team has achieved four wins. The league has six bowl tie-ins.
Independents – Notre Dame got to 5-1 last weekend with a 33-10 win over North Carolina. The Fighting Irish won just four games in 2016. Notre Dame has a bye week, and they’ll have to knock off rival USC in prime time in South Bend to get to six wins in their next outing. Army is sitting at 4-2, and the Black Knights could get to five wins when they battle Eastern Michigan on Saturday.
Mid-American Conference — No MAC teams have reached five wins yet, but Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan have four. The Broncos held off Buffalo, 71-68, in an insane, seven-overtime Battle Royale last Saturday. All three of those teams can get to five wins this weekend with wins over Bowling Green, Central Michigan and Akron, respectively. The MAC should have no problem fulfilling its four bowl obligations.
Mountain West Conference — The Aztecs are for real. If San Diego State can remained undefeated with a win over 3-2 Boise State on Saturday, the path to a perfect regular season looks like it will be lined up for the taking. No other team in the conference has reached five wins, but Colorado State is at four with a game against struggling Nevada on tap in Fort Collins this weekend. The Mountain West has five bowl tie-ins.
Pac-12 Conference — Washington and Washington State just keep on winning. Those two teams had no trouble disposing of Cal and Oregon, respectively, last weekend to each move to 6-0. USC is idle this weekend, but can join the Huskies and Cougars in bowl eligibility with a win over Notre Dame next Saturday. Oregon, Stanford and Utah all have four victories. The Pac-12 has six bowl affiliations.
Southeastern Conference —While Alabama and Georgia continue to set the pace, Auburn and Kentucky — that’s right, Kentucky — reached five wins last weekend. There’s a pretty good chance both will reach six victories on Saturday, as the Tigers are at LSU and the Wildcats are at Mississippi State. LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M all have four wins. The SEC has 10 bowl tie-ins.
Sun Belt Conference — Troy remains the only Sun Belt Conference team more than halfway to six wins. The Trojans had a chance to pick up their fifth win Wednesday night at home against South Alabama but came up empty in a 19-8 loss. They’ll have to wait until next week to pick up Win No. 5 at home against Georgia State on Saturday. The Belt has five bowl tie-ins it is trying to notch.
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