Six more teams reach bowl-eligible status
Six more teams reached the six-win mark last week to push the total of bowl-eligible teams to 13. With NC State (Atlantic Coast Conference), Ohio State (Big Ten), TCU (Big 12), USC (Pac-12), USF (Conference USA) and Wisconsin (Big Ten) all reaching six victories, 65 spots remain available for 39 bowl games, which includes the four College Football Playoff teams.
Heading into this week’s action, a whopping 22 teams are sitting at five victories. All but three of them are in action this week, including a battle of five-win teams in UCF at Navy.
Two FBS teams, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, are not eligible for postseason play, while three teams — Charlotte, San Jose State UTEP — have been eliminated from bowl contention. Nine more teams — Baylor, Bowling Green, BYU, East Carolina, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon State, Texas State and UMass — 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. You can check in at any time with our Bowl Eligibility List to see where things stand.
American Athletic Conference — USF improved to 6-0 on the season by dismantling Cincinnati, 33-3. The Bulls look like they could be a mystery guest in the College Football Playoff. UCF might have something to say about that before it’s all said and done. The Golden Knights have a big one with Navy on Saturday in Annapolis. The winner gets to six wins. Memphis can also reach six wins with a win over Houston on Thursday. The AAC has seven bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — NC State continued to roll with an impressive 35-17 road win over Pittsburgh to reach six wins. Clemson, which suffered a stunning upset at the hands of Syracuse, had already reached six wins, while Miami (FL), Virginia and Virginia Tech can all get to six this weekend with wins over Syracuse, Boston College and North Carolina, respectively. The ACC has 11 bowl affiliations.
Big 12 Conference — TCU is headed to the postseason. But these Horned Frogs have bigger flies to catch. With a spotless 6-0 record, TCU is eyeing a berth in the College Football Playoff. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State can both reach six wins on the road this weekend. The Sooners are at K-State, while the Cowboys head to Austin to battle to Texas. The Big 12 has six bowl tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference — You will never believe this, but Ohio State and Wisconsin are now eligible for the postseason. Shocking, I know. The Buckeyes and Badgers joined Penn State in bowl eligibility after picking up their sixth victories last week. The Nittany Lions had already reached six wins. Michigan and Michigan State can also reach six wins this weekend, but Michigan will have to win at Penn State to do so. The Big Ten has 10 bowl affiliations.
Conference USA — Marshall will try to become the first team in the conference to get to six wins at Middle Tennessee on Friday night. NC State is the only team that has knocked off the Thundering Herd this season. No other team in the conference has reached five wins, but five of them are sitting on four victories. The league has six bowl tie-ins.
Independents – Notre Dame and Army are within one win of postseason eligibility. The Fighting Irish have a tall order to get there this weekend when they host rival USC, but Army should be sitting pretty with a home game against Temple.
Mid-American Conference — Ohio and Toledo became the first two teams in the MAC to reach five wins last week. The Bobcats and Rockets will try to become the first two teams in the MAC to become bowl eligible at home this weekend. Ohio hosts Kent State, while Toledo battles Akron. The MAC has four bowl tie-ins.
Mountain West Conference — Okay. Who had Colorado State and Fresno State as the MWC division leaders after three weeks of conference play? No, you didn’t. Yet, there are the Rams and Bulldogs both at 3-0 in conference play, although Boise State and Wyoming are both 2-0 in the MWC. Colorado State can clinch bowl eligibility with a road win at New Mexico on Friday night. San Diego State, which suffered its first loss of the season to Boise State last week, had already reached six wins. The Mountain West has five bowl commitments.
Pac-12 Conference — Did I say last week that Washington and Washington State just keep on winning? My bad. After two upset losses by the leaders of the Pac-12, the conference race is wide open. USC pulled out a win over Utah to join the Huskies and Cougars in the six-win club. Stanford is sitting on five wins, but red-hot RB Bryce Love and the Cardinal have a bye this weekend. The Pac-12 has six bowl affiliations.
Southeastern Conference —Auburn failed to reach six wins last weekend at LSU and Kentucky was on a bye, so the Tigers and Wildcats will both take a shot at six wins on the road Saturday. Auburn is at Arkansas, while Kentucky travels to Mississippi State. Three more SEC teams — LSU, South Carolina and Texas A&M — need one more win to reach six. The Aggies and Gamecocks are off this weekend, but LSU is at Ole Miss. The SEC has 10 bowl tie-ins.
Sun Belt Conference — Oh, the Sun Belt. Six games into the season, and no team has reached five wins just yet. Troy and Appalachian State both have four wins, while the conference has five bowl tie-ins.
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