With the last full slate of college football games on tap this weekend, only four more bowl spots remain open.
Last week, one dozen teams became bowl-eligible to raise the total to 72 teams. Four teams will play in the inaugural College Football Playoff, while 72 more schools will play in the remaining slew of bowl games.
Seventeen teams can still get to six victories before the regular season is over.
Here’s last week’s recap:
American Athletic Conference – Houston got to six wins last week by beating Tulsa, 38-28, and becoming the fifth bowl-eligible team in the AAC. Temple is the only remaining team in the conference that can still get to six wins and complete the AAC’s six bowl tie-ins. The Owls (5-5) will have two chances to do just that with Cincinnati at home this week and a road game at Tulane to close out the regular season on Dec. 6.
Atlantic Coast Conference – North Carolina got to six victories last week at the expense of rival Duke in a game College Football America attended. The Tar Heels are the ninth team in the conference to become bowl-eligible. The ACC has nine bowl tie-ins. Pittsburgh, Virginia and Virginia Tech are all sitting on five wins. The Cavaliers and Hokies play each other on Friday, while Pitt is at Miami (FL).
Big 12 Conference – There was no change in the Big 12 this week. Oklahoma State remains the only team left in the conference that can still get to six wins. However, the Cowboys (5-5) will have to beat rival Oklahoma on the road Dec. 6 to do so. In all likelihood, the Big 12 will stand pat with six of its seven bowl tie-ins.
Big Ten Conference – Michigan came up short at home against Maryland last week to miss out on its sixth win. The Wolverines will have to pull off a miracle at Ohio State on Saturday to salvage their rocky season. Illinois and Northwestern both have five wins, which means Saturday’s meeting between the teams in Evanston should be a doozy. The Big Ten has nine bowl-eligible teams with 10 bowl tie-ins.
Conference USA – Conference USA has turned out to be a pretty solid league this season. Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky both got to six wins last week to give CUSA all six of its bowl tie-ins. Old Dominion and UAB are also both at five wins. The Blazers are at Southern Miss, while ODU is at FAU on Saturday.
Independents – There was no movement with the independents this week. BYU and Notre Dame are both bowl-eligible, while Navy is one win away. The Midshipmen play at South Alabama on Saturday. Army has been eliminated from postseason contention.
Mid-American Conference – The Ohio Bobcats became the sixth bowl-eligible team from the MAC by knocking off Miami (OH), 24-21, last night. Akron is the only remaining team in the conference that can get to six wins. The Zips should be able to make that happen on Saturday at one-win Kent State. The MAC has five bowl tie-ins.
Mountain West Conference – San Diego State notched an impressive 30-14 victory over Air Force last week to get to six wins and become the sixth bowl-eligible team in the MWC. Fresno State is the only team left that can still get to six wins. The Bulldogs are at home against Hawai’i on Saturday night. The MWC has seven bowl tie-ins.
Pacific-12 Conference – Stanford and Washington both became bowl-eligible last week to give the Pac-12 eight bowl-eligible teams with seven bowl tie-ins. However, Cal and Oregon State can both still get to six wins. The Golden Bears play host to BYU on Saturday, while the Beavers take on Oregon in Corvallis.
Southeastern Conference – Three more SEC teams reached the six-win mark last week, as resurgent Arkansas, Florida and South Carolina all became bowl-eligible. That gives the SEC 11 bowl-eligible teams with 10 bowl tie-ins. And two more teams – Kentucky and Tennessee – can still get to six. Kentucky is at Louisville, while Tennessee is at Vanderbilt. If both those teams win, the conference will have 13 of its 14 teams at .500 or better for the season. Pretty salty.
Sun Belt Conference – The Sun Belt is the only conference in the country that is completely settled, in terms of bow eligibility. Appalachian State and Texas State both got to six wins last week. Appalachian State and Georgia Southern have both won six games, but those two teams are ineligible for bowl contention. That gives the conference four bowl-eligible teams with three bowl tie-ins.