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 — For the second straight week, no teams from the AAC got to six wins. Rutgers, which has five, got blasted by Cincinnati. However, SMU got to four wins with a victory over UConn. Cincy, Houston, Louisville, and UCF are all bowl eligible for the conference, which has six bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — Boston College and Maryland both got to six wins last weekend to increase the ACC’s number of bowl-eligible teams to eight. The Eagles and Terrapins join Clemson, Duke, Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech with at least six wins. North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Syracuse all have five wins, and Wake Forest is sitting at four victories. The ACC has nine bowl tie-ins.
Big 12 Conference — The Big 12 bowl-eligible teams are now finalized. Kansas State got to six wins last weekend to make it six bowl-eligible teams with seven bowl tie-ins. The Wildcats, Baylor, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all bowl eligible, while the remaining four teams in the conference can’t mathematically get to six.
Big Ten Conference — No changes this week for the Big Ten, which has seven bowl-eligible teams with eight tie-ins. Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin have all reached at least six wins. That will likely be all of the bowl-eligible teams, although Indiana and Northwestern are both at four wins.
Conference USA — No changes this week for CUSA, which has six bowl-eligible teams in East Carolina, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Rice and Tulane. UTSA has five wins, while Louisiana Tech has four. The conference has seven bowl tie-ins.
Independents — Navy made it to six wins by beating South Alabama, 42-14. The Midshipmen will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth. That also wraps up the independents for the season. BYU and Notre Dame are both bowl-eligible, while the other four teams can’t qualify.
Mid-American Conference — No changes for the MAC once again this week. Ball State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo are already to six wins or more, but Central Michigan got to four wins last week. The Chippewas could still easily reach six wins with games against UMass and Eastern Michigan left on their schedule.
Mountain West Conference — Colorado State and San Diego State both got to six wins last week to give the MWC five bowl-eligible teams with six bowl tie-ins. The Rams and Aztecs join Boise State, Fresno State and Utah State at the six-win plateau. San Jose State and UNLV have five wins, while Wyoming has four.
Pacific-12 Conference — The Pac-12 remained the same with eight bowl-eligible teams this week. Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington have all reached at least six wins. The conference has 10 bowl tie-ins. Washington State is sitting at five wins, while Utah has four victories.
Southeastern Conference — Vanderbilt reached six wins last week by knocking off Kentucky, 22-6. The SEC now has nine of its 10 bowl-eligible teams, as the Commodores join Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas A&M at six or more wins. Florida, Mississippi State and Tennessee all have four wins.
Sun Belt Conference — Arkansas State reached six wins last weekend to join Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State and Western Kentucky as bowl-eligible teams. The Sun Belt has just two bowl tie-ins. Both Louisiana-Monroe and Troy have five wins.