Chuck Cox of College Football America keeps up with the bowl picture. Starting this week he’ll keep you up to date on which teams are bowl-eligible and which teams are not as bowl season approaches.
American Athletic Conference — No changes this week in the American Athletic Conference, which has four bowl eligible teams in Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville, and UCF. Rutgers needs just one more victory to get to six wins, and the Scarlet Knights could get there on Saturday with a win over Cincy. If not, Rutgers will eventually get to six with games against UConn and South Florida left. SMU has an outside shot with three wins, but that will likely do it for the AAC, which has six bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — Also no changes this week for the ACC, which has six teams bowl eligible in Clemson, Duke, Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech. Boston College, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Syracuse are all sitting at five wins, while North Carolina and Wake Forest have four each. The ACC has nine bowl tie-ins.
Big 12 Conference — Notice a patter forming here? The Big 12 also had no changes this week, although Kansas State got to five wins with a big road win at Texas Tech. Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, and Oklahoma State are all bowl eligible. K-State should get there this week with a home game against struggling TCU. West Virginia at TCU are both at four wins. The Big 12 has seven bowl tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference — The Hawkeyes have made it to six. Iowa became bowl eligible with a 38-14 victory over Purdue last weekend to give the Big Ten seven teams with at least six wins each. The Hawkeyes join Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin as bowl-eligible teams with eight bowl tie-ins. Indiana and Northwestern are both sitting at four victories.
Conference USA — It was a big weekend for Conference USA, which added two more bowl-eligible teams in Marshall and Middle Tennessee. The conference, which has seven bowl tie-ins, now has six bowl-eligible teams, including East Carolina, North Texas, Rice, and Tulane. UTSA has five wins, while Louisiana Tech has four. Those two teams play each other on Nov. 30.
Independents — No change for the independent schools, although Navy moved to within one win of bowl eligibility with a 42-28 win over Hawaii. The Midshipmen should get there this weekend with a home date against South Alabama. BYU and Notre Dame are both already bowl eligible.
Mid-American Conference — No changes in the MAC this week, either. Ball State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Ohio, and Toledo are already to six wins or more. The MAC has just three bowl tie-ins. With three wins, Central Michigan is the only remaining team in the conference that could still get to six wins.
Mountain West Conference — Utah State became just the third MWC team to reach six wins by knocking off UNLV, 28-24. Boise State and Fresno State had already reached the six-win plateau. Three teams — Colorado State, San Diego State, and San Jose State — are at five wins. There’s a pretty good chance all three get there this weekend. Wyoming has four wins. The MWC has six bowl tie-ins.
Pacific-12 Conference — Washington reached six wins over the weekend by beating Colorado. The Pac-12, which has 10 bowl tie-ins, now has eight bowl-eligible teams, including Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, and USC. Utah and Washington State both have four victories.
Southeastern Conference — Georgia and Ole Miss both got to six wins on the season last weekend to give the SEC eight bowl-eligible teams with 10 bowl tie-ins. The Bulldogs and Rebels join Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Missouri, South Carolina, and Texas A&M among the six-win ranks. Vanderbilt got to five wins with its big road win over Florida, which, along with Mississippi State and Tennessee, has four wins.
Sun Belt Conference — Western Kentucky became the third bowl-eligible team in the Belt with a 21-17 win over Army. The Hilltoppers join Louisiana-Lafayette and Texas State with six wins. However, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Monroe, and Troy all have five victories. The Sun Belt has two bowl tie-ins.