Half of 78 postseason spots accounted for with 39 teams at six or more wins
After a topsy-turvy week that included several upsets, 11 more teams reached six victories to increase the total number of bowl-eligible teams to 39, exactly half of the 78 available spots in bowl games, including the four College Football Playoff teams.
Twenty-five more teams are one win away from bowl eligibility heading into this week’s action. However, three of those teams — Arkansas State, Boston College and Louisville — have byes. Also, a pair of five-wins teams, FIU and UTSA, square off against each other.
Two FBS teams, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, are not eligible for postseason play, while 13 other teams —Baylor, Bowling Green, BYU, Charlotte, Georgia Southern, Kansas, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon State, Rice, San Jose State, Tulsa and UTEP — have been eliminated from bowl contention. Eleven more teams — Ball State, Buffalo, Cincinnati, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Florida State, Illinois, Kent State, Old Dominion, 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 our Bowl Eligibility List at any time to check the status of your favorite teams.
American Athletic Conference — Congratulations are in order for head coach Chad Morris and the SMU Mustangs after they knocked off Tulsa, 38-34, under the Friday night lights to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2012. The Ponies join UCF and USF, which suffered its first loss of the season at the hands of the Houston Cougars last Saturday, in postseason eligibility. Those Cougars and the Navy Midshipmen should both reach six wins this week with games against Temple and East Carolina, respectively. The AAC has seven bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — No teams in the ACC reached six wins last week, but both Virginia and Wake Forest could do so on Saturday. However, the Cavs have to get past Georgia Tech, and the Demon Deacons have the tall task of trying to knock off Notre Dame. Clemson, Miami (FL), NC State and Virginia Tech are already bowl eligible for four of the ACC’s 11 bowl affiliations.
Big 12 Conference — How about those Iowa State Cyclones? ISU picked up another signature win last week by handing TCU its first loss of the season. The Cyclones (6-2, 4-1) are on track to end up in the Big 12 Championship Game, although there are still some tough games left on the schedule. Like SMU, ISU is bowl eligible for the first time since 2012. TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are also eligible for the postseason with six bowl tie-ins for the Big 12. West Virginia can grab its sixth win this weekend, but the Mountaineers will have to beat the Cyclones to do so.
Big Ten Conference — Michigan joined the postseason party with a victory over Rutgers last Saturday. The Wolverines, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin are all bowl eligible. Iowa and Northwestern will try to get to six victories this weekend against Ohio State and Nebraska, respectively. The Big Ten has 10 bowl affiliations.
Conference USA — Marshall is still the lone bowl-eligible team from Conference USA, but the Thundering Herd is about to have some serious company. Florida Atlantic, FIU, North Texas, UAB, UTSA and Western Kentucky are all sitting on five wins. The Owls host Marshall, while the Mean Green is at LA Tech and the Blazers host Rice. CUSA has six bowl tie-ins.
Independents – Postseason eligible teams Notre Dame and Army West Point added to their win totals last week, while BYU and UMass snapped losing streaks.
Mid-American Conference — Northern Illinois got to six wins with a victory over Eastern Michigan. The Huskies join Ohio and Toledo in the six-win club. Akron and Western Michigan will try to do the same this week. The Zips are at Miami (OH), while the Broncos host Central Michigan on Wednesday night. The MAC has four bowl commitments.
Mountain West Conference — The Boise State Broncos are back. After a 2-2 start to the season, the boys who play on blue turf have won four straight games, including a 41-14 whitewashing of Utah State last weekend, to reach six wins. BSU, Colorado State and San Diego State are all bowl eligible. However, Fresno State is still sitting on five victories after a stunning home loss to UNLV. The Bulldogs will try again this weekend against BYU. Wyoming can also reach six wins on Saturday with a “Border War” victory over Colorado State. The MWC has five bowl tie-ins.
Pac-12 Conference — Arizona and Stanford came through with wins last week to join USC, Washington and Washington State in bowl eligibility. Without star RB Bryce Love, the Cardinal had to rally to beat Oregon State, 15-14, while Arizona plowed Washington State, 58-37. Colorado and Oregon can also reach six wins by beating Arizona State and Washington, respectively, this week. The Pac-12 has six bowl affiliations.
Southeastern Conference —Three more SEC teams are going bowling. Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina all reached six wins last week, giving the conference seven of its 10 bowl tie-ins. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia and LSU area also eligible for the postseason. Texas A&M can get to six wins this week if the Aggies can upset Auburn.
Sun Belt Conference — The Troy Trojans became the first Sun Belt team to reach six wins last week with a 38-16 victory over Georgia Southern, while Appalachian State remained at five wins after a stunning 30-27 loss to UMass. Appy State will try again this week at ULM. The conference has five bowl tie-ins.
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