Looks Like Another Year of 5-7 Teams Going Bowling
Last year, with 80 bowl slots available, college football wound up handing out three bowl bids to 5-7 teams, based on APR scores after only 77 teams reached bowl eligibility.
This year, that number will probably be higher.
After this past weeks games, 64 teams have become bowl eligible. Eighteen more are still mathematically in the hunt. Two of them, TCU and Texas, play each other and one will be eliminated.
That means quite a few underdogs are going to have to win in order to keep from dipping into the 5-7 pool again this year.
Ten of the eighteen teams are favorites this week. That would get the number to 74 and leave six spots open. Of course, the favorites don't always win. Here is a look at the teams and their prospects.
ARIZONA STATE at Arizona: The Sun Devils are a slight favorite
INDIANA at Purdue: One of three Big 10 teams that are big favorites this week
MARYLAND at Rutgers: Terps are huge favorites
MIAMI (OH) at Ball State: Redhawks are a touchdown favorite and a good story after losing their first five.
OLE MISS vs. Mississippi State Rebs are favored in the Egg Bowl. Can you imagine neither Mississippi school being bowl eligible?
NORTH TEXAS at Texas-El Paso: Mean Green got a big win against Southern Miss over the weekend. Even with a loss, a high APR score should get the Mean Green in if there are multiple slots available. UNT is a slight favorite
NORTHWESTERN vs. Illiniois: Another Big Ten team that's a two touchdown favorite
SOUTH ALABAMA: Is an underdog this week but will be heavily favored at home vs. New Mexico State. Jags have gotten an NCAA waiver to count two FCS wins after the LSU-Florida fiasco. A split gets them in after other 6-6 teams are played.
TEXAS vs. TCU: As noted earlier, one is in. One is out. 'Horns are a slight favorite in what is probably Charlie Strong's last game as head coach.
UTSA vs. Charlotte: A bowl game would be a step forward for the Roadrunners who are favored bymore than a touchdown.
AKRON at Ohio - The Zips are road dogs in this one and their quarterback is questionable to play in this midweek game
BOSTON COLLEGE at Wake Forest: The Eagles are less than a touchdown dog
LOUISIANA vs. Arkansas State: Cajuns are a touchdown underdog and even if they win, must go to Monroe next week and win that one, too.
NC STATE at North Carolina: Wolfpack are a double digit underdog against an arch rival on the road.
SMU vs. Navy: Mustangs are a touchdown underdog against the Midshipmen, who will have the motivation of trying to clinch the AAC West Division
SOUTHERN MISS vs. Louisiana Tech: The loss to North Texas probably ended the Golden Eagles' hopes. They're at home but are a decided underdog.
TEXAS vs. TCU: As we said earlier, one is in, one is out
VANDERBILT vs. Tennessee. Commodores are more than a TD underdog. Perhaps the volunteers have a hangover after being eliminated in the SEC East race.
Then there is the case of ARMY. The Cadets are 6-5 with two wins over FCS schools. The Army-Navy game is five days after the bowl bids are given out. 6-6 teams with two FCS wins are given priority over 5-7 teams so they should be in good shape. But it's not a done deal. If Army gets in, it will be the first time since anyone can remember that all three service academies are bowl eligible in the same season.
So, there it is. With a lot of upsets, all of the slots could be filled. But that, in itself, would be a huge upset.