Eleven more teams reach six wins for an even 50 bowl-eligible teams
As we head down the home stretch of the college football season, 50 teams have now reached at least six wins to achieve bowl eligibility. Twenty-eight spots remain open for the bowl games and College Football Playoff semifinals.
Eleven teams reached six wins last week, while 20 more teams are within one win of reaching that goal. Three of those five-win teams — Cal, Oregon and Utah State — have a bye this week.
Two FBS teams, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, are not eligible for postseason play, while 19 other teams — Ball State, Baylor, Bowling Green, BYU, Charlotte, East Carolina, Georgia Southern, Illinois, Kansas, Kent State, Nevada, North Carolina, Oregon State, Rice, San Jose State, Texas State, Tulsa, UMass and UTEP — have been eliminated from bowl contention.
Fifteen more teams — Buffalo, Cincinnati, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Florida State, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Miami (OH), New Mexico, Old Dominion, South Alabama, Texas State, Tulane and UConn — are one loss away from being eliminated from bowl contention. (How jarring is it to see Florida AND Florida State on that list?)
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 — Houston held up its end of the bargain last week with a 52-27 win over East Carolina to reach six wins, but Navy dropped a 34-26 decision to Temple to stay at five victories. The Midshipmen have lost three straight games and have SMU, Notre Dame, Houston and Army remaining on the schedule, so that sixth win is by no means a given. The Cougars join Memphis, SMU, UCF and USF in bowl eligibility. The AAC has seven bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — Wahoo! The Virginia Cavaliers are bowl eligible for the first time since 2011. Virginia held off Georgia Tech, 40-36, for their sixth win of the season. Wake Forest, meanwhile, gave Notre Dame a scare before falling to the Fighting Irish, 48-37. The Demon Deacons will try again for win number six on Saturday at Syracuse. Boston College and Louisville could also reach six wins this weekend, but those teams will have to knock off NC State and Virginia, respectively, in order to do so. Clemson, Miami (FL), NC State and Virginia Tech are already bowl eligible. The ACC has 11 bowl affiliations.
Big 12 Conference — West Virginia pulled off a nifty 20-16 win over red-hot Iowa State last Saturday to reach six wins. The Mountaineers join the Cyclones, TCU, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in bowl eligibility to give the Big 12 five of its six bowl tie-ins. Kansas State can also get to six wins if the Wildcats can upset West Virginia on Saturday in the Little Apple.
Big Ten Conference — Two more teams from the Big Ten joined the postseason party by reaching six wins last week. Iowa made it look easy in dismantling Ohio State, 55-24, to get there, while Northwestern held off Nebraska, 31-24. The Hawkeyes and Wildcats join Michigan, Michigan State, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin in bowl eligibility. No other teams in the conference have reached five wins. The Big Ten has 10 bowl affiliations.
Conference USA — It was quite a weekend for Conference USA. Heading into last week’s action, Marshall was the only team in the conference with at least six wins. FAU, FIU, North Texas and UAB all got to six victories to suddenly give the league five bowl-eligible teams with six tie-ins. And don’t look now, but the division leaders in C-USA are … FAU and North Texas. Wow. Three more teams — Southern Miss, UTSA and Western Kentucky — could join them in postseason eligibility this weekend. The Golden Eagles are at Rice, while the Roadrunners host UAB and the Hilltoppers are at Marshall.
Independents – Postseason-eligible teams Notre Dame and Army West Point added to their win totals last week, while BYU and UMass both lost. The Fighting Irish and Black Knights are a combined 15-3, while the Cougars and Minutemen are a combined 4-15.
Mid-American Conference — No new teams became eligible for postseason play last week, but Western Michigan will try it again this week. The Broncos host Kent State. Central Michigan could also reach six wins with a victory over Eastern Michigan. Akron could have reached six wins against Miami (OH) on Tuesday, but the Zips lost, 24-14. Northern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo are bowl eligible. The MAC has four bowl commitments.
Mountain West Conference — Both Fresno State and Wyoming reached six wins last week to join Boise State, Colorado State and San Diego State in postseason eligibility and fulfill the MWC’s five bowl tie-ins. Utah State will try to get to six wins next week after a bye.
Pac-12 Conference — No new teams in the Pac-12 got to six wins last week, so Arizona, Stanford, USC, Washington and Washington State remain the only bowl eligible teams in the conference. However, five more teams — Arizona State, Cal, Colorado, Oregon and Utah — are sitting on five wins. The Sun Devils, Buffaloes and Utes can reach six wins this weekend. ASU is at UCLA, while Colorado hosts USC and Utah hosts Washington State. The Pac-12 has six bowl affiliations.
Southeastern Conference — There was no change in bowl-eligible teams in the SEC this past week, as Texas A&M fell to Auburn to remain at five wins. The Aggies should get to six this weekend with a non-conference match-up against struggling New Mexico. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Mississippi State and South Carolina have all reached six wins. The SEC has 10 bowl tie-ins.
Sun Belt Conference — Perhaps the third time will be the charm for Appalachian State. The Mountaineers have had two chances to reach six wins, falling to UMass and ULM on the road. Appy State returns home to face Georgia Southern this week. Arkansas State and Georgia State can also reach six wins on Saturday with road victories over South Alabama and Texas State, respectively. The Belt has five bowl tie-ins.
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