More than enough: 79 teams now eligible for 78 postseason spots
It might be hard to believe, but the end of the college football regular season is nigh upon us.
With just a handful of games left on the slate this week, including conference championship games, and Army-Navy the following weekend, the postseason cup is overflowing. There are already more than enough teams to fill the 78 postseason slots, which includes all of the bowls and four teams in the College Football Playoff semifinals.
Three more teams, Florida State, Louisiana and New Mexico State, could still get a sixth win to also become bowl-eligible on Saturday. That should not be a problem for the Seminoles, who host Louisiana-Monroe and own the nation’s longest active bowl streak of 35 straight years. Right now, 79 teams are eligible for the postseason.
Two FBS teams, Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, are not eligible for postseason play, while 46 other teams — Air Force, Arkansas, Ball State, Baylor, Bowling Green, BYU, California, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Colorado, East Carolina, Eastern Michigan, Florida, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kent State, Louisiana-Monroe, Maryland, Miami (OH), Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Old Dominion, Oregon State, Pittsburgh, Rice, Rutgers, San Jose State, South Alabama, Syracuse, Texas State, Tennessee, Tulane, Tulsa, UConn, UMass, UNLV, UTEP and Vanderbilt — have been eliminated.
American Athletic Conference — Temple became the final team in the conference to reach bowl eligibility with a 43-22 victory at Tulsa. The Owls have reached at least six wins each of the last four seasons. Temple joins Houston, Memphis, Navy, SMU, UCF and USF in bowl eligibility, giving the American all seven of its bowl tie-ins. Undefeated UCF will square off with Memphis in the conference championship game in Orlando on Saturday.
Atlantic Coast Conference — Duke nabbed its sixth win by beating Wake Forest, 31-23, last week. The Blue Devils, Boston College, Clemson, Louisville, Miami (FL), NC State, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Wake Forest are all postseason eligible. If FSU gets to six wins, the ACC will be just one team short of filling its 11 bowl affiliations. Defending national champion Clemson will take on Miami (FL) in the ACC championship game in Charlotte on Saturday.
Big 12 Conference — Texas Tech pulled off a 27-23 road win over Texas to get to six victories this season. The Red Raiders join Iowa State, Texas, TCU, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and West Virginia in bowl eligibility. The Big 12, which features Oklahoma and TCU in the title game on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, has surpassed its six bowl tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference —Purdue knocked off Indiana, 31-24, to reach six victories and become eligible for the postseason for the first time since 2012. Purdue joins Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, Ohio State and Wisconsin in bowl eligibility. The Big Ten is two teams short of its 10 bowl tie-ins. The Buckeyes and undefeated Badgers will meet in the conference title game on Saturday in Indianapolis.
Conference USA — Middle Tennessee and LA Tech both came through with victories last weekend to get to six wins. The Blue Raiders beat Old Dominion, which was also sitting on five wins heading into the game, while the Bulldogs turned away bowl-eligible UTSA. MTSU, LA Tech and UTSA join FAU, FIU, Marshall, North Texas and UAB in bowl eligibility. C-USA has surpassed its six bowl affiliations. UNT travels to Boca Raton on Saturday to take on Lane Kiffin’s FAU Owls in the conference championship.
Independents – No changes for the rest of the season for the four independents. Army West Point and Notre Dame are in, BYU and UMass are out.
Mid-American Conference — Buffalo got a 31-24 win over Ohio to get to six wins and join Akron, Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Toledo and Western Michigan in bowl eligibility. The MAC has surpassed its four bowl commitments. Akron and Toledo meet for the MAC title in Motown on Saturday.
Mountain West Conference — No new MWC teams were able to reach six wins in the final week of the regular season, so Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State and Wyoming remain the six teams in the league with postseason eligibility, giving the MWC one more than its five bowl tie-ins. In a rematch of last week’s game, Fresno State and Boise State meet in Boise on Saturday. The Bulldogs beat the Broncos, 28-17, in Fresno.
Pac-12 Conference — UCLA, which will have a new head coach in Chip Kelly next season, and Utah both reached six wins last week to join Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, Oregon, USC, Washington and Washington State in bowl eligibility. The conference has surpassed its six bowl affiliations. Stanford and USC will battle for the conference crown on Friday in Santa Clara, Calif.
Southeastern Conference — No SEC team could reach six wins last week, so Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Kentucky, Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas A&M remain the bowl-eligible teams from the league. The conference finishes one shy of reaching its 10 bowl tie-ins. Fresh off handing Alabama its first loss of the season, Auburn will take on Georgia in the SEC championship on Saturday in Atlanta.
Sun Belt Conference — The Sun Belt is not quite finished yet. The conference still has one more week left in the regular season. Louisiana, which is at Appalachian State, and New Mexico State, which hosts South Alabama, both have five wins. Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Georgia State and Troy are already eligible for the postseason. The Sun Belt has five bowl tie-ins.
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