Bowl Eligibility - Updated Conference Analysis

Submitted by Tauro on November 13th, 2012 at 11:39 AM

What a Saturday!  The BCS is thrown into turmoil and we are faced with the possibility of the SEC being shutout of the title game.  Thank you Texas A&M. 

A 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, Chik 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.  The information below is broken down as follows: Eligible Teams (have 6 wins already), On the Cusp (5 wins) and Still Have a Shot (4 wins.  I have also provided the remaining schedule beside each team listed under On the Cusp or Still Have a Shot.


Big Ten

Eligible Teams:

Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Wisconsin

On the Cusp:

Michigan State (Northwestern and Minnesota)

Still a Shot:

Iowa (Michigan and Nebraska)

Indiana (Penn State and Purdue)

Analysis:

Minnesota took care of business and becomes bowl eligible for the first time since 2009 and the first under Jerry Kill.  Michigan stays in competition for the Rose bowl, but Nebraska’s win over Penn State gives the Cornhuskers the advantage.  Iowa and Indiana still have a shot, but they cannot afford to lose another game.  Michigan State was idle, but still looks to be in good shape needing only one more win.


ACC

Eligible Teams:

Clemson, Duke, Florida State and NC State

On the Cusp:

Wake Forest (Notre Dame and Vanderbilt)

Miami (Fla.) (South Florida and Duke)

Georgia Tech (Duke and Georgia)

Still a Shot:

Maryland (Florida State and North Carolina)

Virginia Tech (Boston College and Virginia)

Analysis:

NC State took care of business against Wake Forest and becomes bowl eligible.  Georgia Tech’s win over North Carolina puts them in great shape this week against Duke.  A victory will see them get that coveted sixth victory.  VT still has a shot, but cannot lose either of its last two games while Maryland’s chances are slime.  Miami has two winnable games remaining and is still in good shape.


Big 12

Eligible Teams:

Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU and Texas Tech

On the Cusp:

West Virginia (Oklahoma, Iowa State and Kansas)

Iowa State (Kansas and West Virginia)

Still a Shot:

Baylor (Kansas State, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State)

Analysis:

West Virginia and Iowa State each lost this past weekend, but they play each other and Kansas, I expect both to become bowl eligible.  Baylor is still in the hunt, but their schedule is daunting.  I do not see them getting through that gauntlet with two wins.


Big East

Eligible Teams:

Cincinnati, Louisville and Rutgers

On the Cusp:

Syracuse (Missouri and Temple)

Still a Shot:

Pittsburgh (Rutgers and South Florida)

Analysis:

Syracuse’s huge upset over Louisville now moves them into the driver’s seat for reaching a bowl game.  A win over Missouri or Temple will see them reach the postseason.  The question now is whether the Big East can keep a team ranked high enough to reach a BCS game.  It will be interesting to watch over the final two weeks – this league cannot afford any more loses by Louisville or Rutgers.


Conference USA

Eligible Teams:

UCF, East Carolina and Tulsa

On the Cusp:

SMU (Rice and Tulsa)

Still a Shot:

Houston (Marshall and Tulane)

Marshall (Houston and East Carolina)

Rice (SMU and UTEP)

Analysis:

Marshall really needed to beat UAB and their chances are now extremely slim.  Houston is in a similar position.  As they two schools play each other next week, only one will move forward with a change to get that needed sixth win.  As expected, SMU took care of business and is now On the Cusp.


Independents

Eligible Teams:

BYU, Notre Dame and Navy

On the Cusp:

None

Still a Shot:

None

Analysis:

BYU got their sixth victory, which finalizes things for the independents.  BYU and Navy know where they’ll be playing already, while Notre Dame remains in the hunt for the BCS Championship.


MAC

Eligible Teams:

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

On the Cusp:

NONE

Still a Shot:

Miami (Ohio) (Central Michigan and Ball State)

Central Michigan (Miami (Ohio) and Massachusetts)

Analysis:

With Western Michigan’s loss to Buffalo, only the winner of the Miami/Central Michigan game this weekend has a chance to reach a bowl game.  I like Central Michigan’s chances much better since their last game is against UMass.


Mountain West

Eligible Teams:

Fresno State, San Diego State, Boise State, Nevada

On the Cusp:

Air Force (Hawaii and Fresno State)

Still a Shot:

New Mexico (Nevada and Colorado State)

Analysis:

New Mexico lost to Wyoming leaving them little chance to reach six wins with a game against Nevada this weekend.  Air Force should become eligible this weekend against Hawaii.  A loss pits their chances in defeating Fresno State, who looked strong in their win over Nevada.


PAC 12

Eligible Teams:

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

On the Cusp:

Arizona State (Washington State and Arizona)

Still a Shot:

Utah (Arizona, Colorado)

Analysis:

Ah Colorado – giving bowl eligibility to schools everywhere.  This week it was Arizona to receive the reward.  Washington would have been next, but they beat Utah to get their sixth win, which means they’ll likely finish the season with a winning record.  Arizona State and Utah still have work to do.  If Utah can pull off an upset against Arizona, they are likely assured a sixth win with Colorado on the schedule to close out the season.


SEC

Eligible Teams:

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

On the Cusp:

Mississippi (LSU and Mississippi State)

Missouri (Syracuse and Texas A&M)

Still a Shot:

Tennessee (Vanderbilt and Kentucky)

Arkansas (Mississippi State and LSU)

Analysis:

Thank you Texas A&M for giving us the chance that the SEC might be shutout of the BCS Championship.  Vanderbilt became eligible with their victory over Ole Miss while Missouri’s 4 Overtime victory over Tennessee moved them to On the Cusp.  Tennessee cannot lost another game while Arkansas will likely fall off this list this weekend.


Sun Belt

Eligible Teams:

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

On the Cusp:

Louisiana-Lafayette (Western Kentucky, South Alabama, FAU)

Troy (Arkansas State and Middle Tennessee State)

Still a Shot:

None

Analysis:

The Ragin’ Cajuns came so close to defeating to Florida, but are still in great shape.  Troy is also looking good after taking down Navy though their last two games are against the top teams in the Sun Belt.


WAC

Eligible Teams:

Utah State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State

On the Cusp:

None

Still a Shot:

None

Analysis:

When it comes to bowl eligibility, the WAC is already set.


Final Analysis

Of the 70 slots available, 56 teams have already qualified.  I have a further 14 teams listed as On the Cusp.  There is still a good chance that there will be enough eligible teams available, though I bet bowl organizers would appreciate some of the Still a Shot schools to come through over the final two weeks.  I predict the following schools will become bowl eligible this week:

Air Force
Arizona State
Georgia Tech
Iowa State
Miami (Fla.)
Missouri
SMU

As requested, on Thursday I will give you a breakdown of bowl matchups based on my own analysis.  Stay tuned!

Comments

turtleboy

November 13th, 2012 at 12:56 PM ^

How is it that 9 of the 10 Big12 teams could be bowl eligible? How is it also possible for the SEC to have not only 12 teams bowl eligible, but most of them ranked? The SEC is ranked 4-5-6-7-8-and 9 right now. They do play each other, right? Most teams play more OOC opponents than cross-divisional opponenst within their own conference, now. The SEC East only has to play 2 SEC West opponents every year now because each division has 7 teams in it. Almost wish teams would do away with non-con games if they're gonna play non-AQ teams, and just play your entire conference like we all used to. 

Mich Mash

November 13th, 2012 at 1:32 PM ^

...can you enlighten me as to which of these bowls are new this year versus which have just changed name/sponsorship?  And are there more/less bowls this year than last year?  Which bowl will feature the least wins by its participants?