Sunday, September 18, 2016

29 College Football Teams Are Halfway To Bowl Eligibility.


Alabama QB Jalen Hurts. Image via AP.

It's only Week 4 of the 2016 college football season, but 29 of the 128 teams in the FBS are halfway to bowl eligibility.



To refresh everyone's memory, there are 41 bowls in the 2016 season, which will hand out 82 invitations to eligible FBS schools. An FBS team becomes automatically bowl eligible when it achieves six regular season wins, five of which must be against other FBS-level schools. If there are not enough teams that meet those qualifications to fill the 82 available invitations given , then teams with a 6-6 record with two wins over FCS schools can become bowl eligible.

If there aren't 6-6 teams to go around, then teams with a 13-regular season game schedule that go 6-7 can become eligible. That's basically a rule for Hawaii, which is allowed to play a 13-game schedule, and teams that play Hawaii that are allowed to schedule a 13-game regular season.

If  there still not enough teams, then former FCS schools that wouldn't ordinarily would not be eligible for postseason play until its third year as an FBS school can be given a waiver to become bowl eligible. That's how Georgia Southern was able to go to the 2015 GoDaddy Bowl despite being in its second season as a FBS school.

After all of that, if there are still not enough teams to fill the available bowl spots, then teams that went 5-7 in the regular season would be considered for bowl eligibility in order of their Academic Progress Rate score. Minnesota, Nebraska, and San Jose State made the cut under this rule.

Thirty-seven out of 128 teams are still undefeated in the FBS, and (at least in theory) are still in the running for a place in the 2016 College Football Playoff. Twenty-nine of those teams are 3-0, thus only need three wins to pretty much guarantee a spot in a postseason bowl. The following list breaks those teams down by conference.

Power Five Conferences


ACC

Clemson
Georgia Tech
Louisville
Miami
Wake Forest

Big 12

Baylor

(2-0 Team: West Virginia)

Big Ten

MarylandMichigan
Nebraska
Ohio State
Wisconsin

(2-0 Teams: Indiana, Michigan State, Minnesota)

Pac-12 

Arizona State
Utah
Washington

(2-0 Team: Stanford)

SEC

Alabama
Arkansas
Florida
Georgia
Tennessee
Texas A&M

Group of Five conferences


American

Houston
Navy
South Florida

(2-0 Team: Memphis)

MAC

Central Michigan
Toledo
Western Michigan

Mountain West

San Diego State

(2-0 Teams: Air Force, Boise State)

Sun Belt

Georgia Southern

Independents 

Army

Conference USA is the only conference that currently has zero unbeaten teams.








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