|North Texas vs. Western Kentucky, Nov. 12, 2016. Image via The Denton Record-Chronicle.|
Four Conference USA teams are bowl eligible, with four more still in the running for a 2016 bowl appearance. Of those last four teams, two of the need to win their both of last two games, or face staying at home in December.
Here's the rundown of the C-USA bowl eligible teams, and the ones still in the hunt. Bowl projections are via Jason Kirk of SB*Nation.
Projected bowl opponents with an "*" have not yet qualified for a bowl game yet.
Bowl Eligible Teams (Six-plus wins)
Western Kentucky (8-3)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Heart of Dallas Bowl vs. *Northwestern (Dec. 27, Dallas, Tx.)
Louisiana Tech (8-3)
Projected Bowl: 2016 New Orleans Bowl vs. Troy (Dec. 17, New Orleans, La.)
Old Dominion (7-3)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Boca Raton Bowl vs. Memphis (Dec. 20, Boca Raton, Fl.)
Middle Tennessee State (6-4)
Projected Bowl: 2016 Independence Bowl vs, *Ole Miss (Dec. 26, Shreveport La.)
The Independence Bowl is supposed to be an ACC vs. SEC matchup. But Jason Kirk projects that the ACC might not have enough bowl eligible teams to fill its bowl allotments. Even worse for the ACC is the fact that it may not even fill out its bowl allotments even with the dreaded APR Cone of Shame around some of its teams necks.
The fact that Ole Miss hasn't quite gotten to six wins to clinch its own bowl eligibility yet is another story altogether.
On the Brink (Five wins, one win needed for bowl eligibility)
Texas San-Antonio (5-5)
Week 12: @Texas A&M (Nov. 19)
Yes, Texas A&M has lost three out of its last four games. That doesn't mean that UTSA is any more likely to pull an upset here. So the Roadrunners' real best hope for that sixth win is to beat Charlotte on Nov. 26.
Southern Mississippi (5-5)
Week 12: @North Texas (Nov. 19)
Southern Miss needs one more win to clinch a bowl bid. North Texas will need two wins to make it to six wins and bowl eligibility, so expect both teams to play hard in this game.
If the Golden Eagles fall to the Mean Green this Saturday, they'll have to go through Louisiana Tech to clinch their sixth win. It's probably doable, but getting the sixth win out of the way this weekend would be the best option.
Running Out of Days (Four wins, two needed for bowl eligibility)
Week 12: vs.Middle Tennessee St. (Nov. 19)
Charlotte will need to beat Middle Tennessee St. and then beat Texas San-Antonio to earn a bowl bid. If the 49ers get by the Blue Raiders, the it will face a Roadrunner team that might be fighting for its own shot at a bowl.
North Texas (4-6)
Week 12: vs Southern Miss
North Texas faces a tough fight with Southern Miss if it wants to keep its bowl dreams alive. Then the Mean Green has to beat UTEP to clinch a bowl bid.