Bowl Eligibility - Conference Breakdown (Nov 26)

Submitted by Tauro on November 26th, 2012 at 1:51 PM

[edited to fix Big Ten # and chart]

Another crazy weekend that really impacted the bowl games, and in particular, Georgia Tech. 

Your recap of bowl affiliations by conference:

Big Ten – 8 affiliations

Rose, Heart of Dallas, Outback, Gator, Capital One, Buffalo Wild Wings, Meineke Car Care and  Little Ceasars

ACC – 8 affiliations

Orange, Sun, Music City, Chick Fil A, Russell Athletic, Independence, Military and Belk

B12 – 7 affiliations

Fiesta, Cotton, Pinstripe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Alamo, Meineke Car Care and Holiday

Big East – 6 affiliations

BBVA Compass, Liberty*, Pin Stripe, Russell Athletic, Belk and Beef O’Brady’s

Conference USA – 6 affiliations

Heart of Dallas, Liberty*, Armed Forces, Hawaii, New Orleans and Beef O’Brady’s

MAC – 3 affiliations

Go Daddy, Little Caesars and Famous Idaho Potato

Mountain West – 5 affiliations

Armed Forces, Hawaii*, Las Vegas, Poinsettia and New Mexico

PAC 12 – 7 affiliations

Rose, Sun, Kraft Fight Hunger, Alamo, Holiday, Las Vegas and New Mexico

SEC – 10 affiliations

Sugar, BBVA Compass, Cotton, Outback, Gator, Capital One, Music City, Liberty*, Chik Fil A and Independence

Sun Belt – 2 affiliations

Go Daddy and New Orleans

WAC – 2 affiliations

Hawaii* and Famous Idaho Potato

At Large Bids – 5

BCS Championship, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange

Other Bids (Independent) – 3

Poinsettia (takes BYU eligible), Kraft Fight Hunger (takes Navy if eligible) and Military (takes Army if eligible)

* Liberty takes either CUSA or SEC team and Hawaii takes Mountain West or WAC team

In total, 35 bowl games meaning 70 slots that have to be filled by eligible teams.  Let us see how each conference fairs in terms of eligible teams.  This is likely the last entry for this season since I expect that after next weekend we will know all of the eligible teams AND where they will be going.  However, one new addition.

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It was requested that I add a chart to make it easier to see the eligible teams by conference.  Hopefully the following chart will do the job:

Your conference-by-conference breakdown:

Big Ten

Eligible Teams:

Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin


As a conference, the Big Ten really wanted both Purdue and Michigan State to win for greater visibility during the bowl season.  And they did just that each becoming bowl eligible with identical 6-6 records.  With OSU and Penn State out of the bowl picture, it will mean tougher opponents for the remaining teams with the conference only fielding 7 of the 8 teams it needed to fill its obligations.


Eligible Teams:

Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State and Virginia Tech


Virginia Tech reach a bowl game for the 20thstraight season with its victory of Virginia.  Wake Forest, on the other hand, could not beat Vanderbilt and will remain home.  Georgia Tech, by virtue of their lose to Georgia, now needs to win the ACC Championship game to guarantee themselves a bowl game.  Otherwise, their 6-7 record will leave them hoping there will be an insufficient number of eligible teams requiring the NCAA to use its eligibility rules for such circumstances.  The ACC currently has 6 teams eligible out of a required 8, but Georgia Tech’s status is up in the air.

Big 12

Eligible Teams:

Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia


It is still hard to believe we are this late into the season and still talking about West Virginia’s eligibility given how they started the year.  Yet, at long last, the Mountaineers will be in a bowl game after defeating Iowa State.  High scoring Baylor outlasted Texas Tech to also reach bowl eligibility.  The Big 12 will finish with 9 eligible teams while only requiring 7 to fill its obligations.

Big East

Eligible Teams:

Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse

On the Cusp:

Pittsburgh (South Florida)


It is remarkable that, even though they are 7-5, Syracuse is actually in the BCS bowl conversation.  Though they will not be selected, as the rule is based on where they wind up in the BCS rankings with Rutgers and Louisville, it still demonstrates the turnaround for their season.  Pittsburgh defeated Rutgers given them a much easier road to bowl eligibility this week against South Florida.  Assuming they win, the Big East will have 5 teams out of a required 6 obligations.

Conference USA

Eligible Teams:

UCF, East Carolina, Rice, SMU and Tulsa


Marshall lost in double overtime to East Carolina to fall out of bowl contention.  SMU and Rice, on the other hand, both won their final games and are now eligible for a bowl.  Conference USA finishes with 5 eligible teams while requiring 6 for their affiliations.


Eligible Teams:

BYU, Notre Dame and Navy


Notre Dame will be going to the BCS Championship.  No other changes for the Independents.  They finish with 3 bowl teams while having 3 affiliations.


Eligible Teams:

Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Ohio, Northern Illinois and Toledo.


As expected, Central Michigan defeated UMass and is now bowl eligible.  The MAC finishes with 7 eligible teams while only having 3 bowl affiliations.

Mountain West

Eligible Teams:

Air Force, Fresno State, San Diego State, Boise State, Nevada


The MWC was already complete with 5 eligible teams to fill its 5 affiliations.

PAC 12

Eligible Teams:

Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington


The PAC-12 has eight eligible teams for seven affiliations.


Eligible Teams:

Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt


Missouri lost to Texas A&M meaning they will be staying home this bowl season while Ole Miss defeated Mississippi State to reach bowl eligibility.  The SEC will have 9 eligible teams coming one short of its 10 obligations.

Sun Belt

Eligible Teams:

Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State and
Western Kentucky


Troy lost their last game meaning the Sun Belt is done with 5 eligible teams.  They are affiliated with only 2 bowl games.


Eligible Teams:

Utah State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State


When it comes to bowl eligibility, the WAC is already set with 3 teams.  They are affiliated with 2 bowl games.

Final Analysis

Of the 70 slots available, 71 teams have already qualified, which includes Pittsburgh who should become eligible this week.  The impact of Pittsburgh winning will likely affect one of the WAC or Sun Belt bowl eligible teams.

With these numbers including Georgia Tech, it does appear that they will have to win their game against Florida State in the ACC Championship to maintain their eligibility. Ah the craziness of the ACC!

Last week, I predicted that the following schools would become bowl eligible after the past weekend:

Central Michigan(Won)
Michigan State(Won)
Virginia Tech(Won)

Perfect score, though several other teams also became eligible (SMU, West Virginia, Mississippi).  It means that there will be enough school eligible to fill all the bowl games, which organizers of some low-rated games are thankful for.