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 change in the AAC this week, as Rutgers and SMU both remained at five wins. The Scarlet Knights and Mustangs can still get to six victories to become bowl eligible this weekend. Rutgers takes on South Florida, while SMU hosts UCF. If neither team wins, the AAC will have only four bowl-eligible teams – Cincinnati, Houston, Louisville and UCF – with six bowl tie-ins.
Atlantic Coast Conference — Syracuse became the conference’s 11th bowl-eligible team with a win over Boston College. The Orange join Boston College, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, Miami, Florida State, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Virginia Tech on the six-win plateau. The ACC exceeded its bowl tie-ins by two teams. If Florida State beats Duke in the conference title game on Saturday, the Seminoles will likely play for the BCS championship.
Big 12 Conference — The conference’s bowl-eligible teams were finalized two weeks ago. Baylor, Kansas State, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are all bowl eligible, leaving the Big 12 one short of its seven tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference — The Big Ten’s bowl-eligible teams were locked up last week. Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Ohio State and Wisconsin have all reached at least six wins, giving the league seven bowl-eligible teams with eight tie-ins. If Ohio State beats Michigan State in Saturday’s conference championship game, the undefeated Buckeyes will likely play for the national championship.
Conference USA — FAU got to six victories last week with a win over rival FIU. That gives the conference eight bowl-eligible teams with seven bowl tie-ins. The Owls join East Carolina, Marshall, Middle Tennessee, North Texas, Rice, Tulane and UTSA as bowl-eligible teams. Tulane will take on Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowl (Dec. 21).
Independents — The independent schools that qualified for bowls were finalized two weeks ago. Navy, Notre Dame and BYU are all bowl eligible. Navy will play in the Armed Forces Bowl (Dec. 30). BYU is headed to the Fight Hunger Bowl (Dec. 27).
Mid-American Conference — Central Michigan thumped Eastern Michigan last week to reach six victories. Ball State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Ohio and Toledo were already to six wins or more to give the MAC seven bowl-eligible teams with just three bowl tie-ins.
Mountain West Conference — San Jose State pulled off a stunning upset of previously-unbeaten Fresno State to get to six wins last week. However, Wyoming could not pick up its sixth victory, leaving the MWC with seven bowl-eligible teams and six bowl tie-ins. The Spartans join Boise State, Colorado State, Fresno State, San Diego State, Utah State and UNLV as bowl-eligible teams.
Pacific-12 Conference — The Pac-12 bowl-eligible teams were finalized last week. Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington and Washington State have all reached at least six wins. The Pac-12 has nine bowl-eligible teams with 10 bowl tie-ins.
Southeastern Conference — Mississippi State grabbed a thrilling overtime win over rival Ole Miss to get to six wins. The Bulldogs became the 10th bowl-eligible team from the SEC. Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt are also bowl eligible. The SEC has 10 bowl tie-ins.
Sun Belt Conference — Louisiana-Monroe and Troy both reaches six wins last week to give the Sun Belt six bowl-eligible teams with four bowl tie-ins. Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Texas State and Western Kentucky are the other teams with at least six wins.