2013 Bowl Projections Starting to Clear Up – From the Bird’s Nest
In last week's blog, I predicted there would be 76 bowl eligible teams, which would mean heartbreak for six schools who had achieved bowl eligibility. With thirteen days before all the bowl bids are announced, there is still a lot to be decided.
69 schools have achieved bowl eligibility. There are 81 teams still mathematically alive to achieve bowl eligible status. Realistically, at least 73 will get there, and 76 is possible.
Here's your update:
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE--Four are bowl eligible. Two still are alive: SMU (5-5) is at Houston and hosts UCF. Rutgers (5-5) travels to UCONN and hosts USF.
Prediction: They'll get five. SMU has a pretty big hill, even though they have two chances at one win.
ACC--Ten are bowl eligible, after Pittsburgh qualified Saturday by beating Syracuse. The Orange fall into that possible category. They have to beat Boston College and the nations leading rusher, but they get them at the Carrier Dome. BC is a slight favorite.
Prediction: Tough Call. But I think the Orange fall short.
BIG TEN: Seven are bowl eligible. And that's all, folks. The question here is, will either MIchigan State or Wisconsin join Ohio State in a BCS bowl. Im thinking that's likely, which would mean the Big Ten would vacate a second bowl game.
BIG TWELVE: Six are bowl eligible. That's it.
CONFERENCE USA: Six are eligible. FAU gets to 6-6 if they beat FIU, and they are heavily favored.
Prediction: FAU makes it to six wins, but they're in danger of not being selected.
MAC: Six are eligible and Central Michigan gets in with a win over Eastern Michigan.
Prediction: The MAC gets seven. Will they get one in the BCS? They've moved ahead of Fresno State, but playing Western Michigan this week won't help their cause.
INDEPENDENTS--Three. Navy will be in the Armed Forces Bowl. BYU is headed to the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, and Notre Dame is likely to be wearing Pinstripes
MOUNTAIN WEST: Five are eligible after UNLV qualified this week. Three others have a chance. San Jose State has a tough road against undefeated Fresno State, and Wyoming is doubtful at Utah State. But Colorado State takes on Air Force.
The Mountain West gets six teams, and, unless Fresno is in a BCS bowl, they'll fill all six.
PAC-12: Nine teams have qualified, after Washington State won over the weekend. After Oregon's loss, it's doubtful the PAC-12 will get two teams into the BCS. That means there will be teams looking to be slotted. And, they will be. It's the PAC-12.
SEC--Nine eligible. Mississippi State (5-6) hosts Ole MIss this week. The Bulldogs have a realistic chance. If they become the tenth, and the SEC gets two into the BCS as expected, they'll vacate one slot. If Ole Miss wins, two slots will be available. Tennessee blew a real chance.
SUN BELT: Four eligible. Three mathematically alive. None of them are locks. Troy hosts Texas State and may have the best chance. ULM may have taken a fatal blow in Mobile over the weekend. Their one chance is to win at Cajun Field. South Alabama is interesting. They go to winless Georgia State this weekend and then host the Cajuns. It's not likely, but stranger things have happened. I think Troy gets there. I don't think the others do.
That means my prediction is now down to 74 teams. But that prediction of 76 could well come true. Syracuse and Mississippi State are tossups.