|Navy vs. Notre Dame Nov. 5, 2016. Image via The Chicago Tribune.|
Navy's win over Notre Dame on Saturday gave it the sixth win it needed to qualify for bowl eligibility this season. Memphis also got its sixth win, joining Navy in the ranks of American Athletic Conference teams that became bowl eligible before Week 10.
While it looks as though The American won't yield a team to represent the Group of Five conferences in a New Year's Six bowl this season, there should be some entertaining matchups with Power Five conference in the cards for conference teams. The bowl eligible teams are paired below with the bowl projections of SB*Nation's Jason Kirk.
Projected Bowl: Military Bowl vs. Georgia Tech (Dec. 27, Annapolis, Maryland)
South Florida (7-2)
Projected Bowl: Birmingham Bowl vs. Georgia (Dec. 29, Birmingham, Alabama)
Projected Bowl: Bahamas Bowl vs. Akron (Dec. 23, Nassau, Bahamas)
Projected Bowl: St. Petersburg Bowl vs. Old Dominion (Dec. 26, St. Petersburg, Fl.)
Projected Bowl: Armed Forces Bowl vs. Kansas State (Dec. 23, Ft. Worth, Texas)
Projected Bowl: Boca Raton Bowl vs. Middle Tennessee (Dec. 26, Boca Raton, Fl.)
On the Brink (Five wins, one win away)
Central Florida (5-4)
Week 11: vs. Cincinnati (Nov. 12)
Central Florida's easiest chance for sixth win will probably be this coming Saturday when it faces 4-5 Cincinnati. Its next two games following the Bearcats are at home against The American West Division-leading Tulsa (Nov. 19), and a road game at South Florida on (Nov. 26). It does appear, however, that a bowl is in the future to finish out Scott Frost's first year as head coach of the Knights.
Running Out of Days (Four wins, two wins away)
Week 11: @ Central Florida (Nov. 12)
Cincinnati has struggled this season, and has a hard road ahead to clinch two more wins this season. Two of the Bearcats' three remaining regular season games are on the road. It visits Central Florida on Nov. 12, hosts Memphis on Nov. 19, then goes back on the road to face Tulsa on Nov. 26.
Week 11: @ East Carolina (Nov. 12)
SMU's postseason bowl hopes look like a case of "the only easy day was yesterday." It has two home games to close out the season, but they're against what should be tough competition. The Mustangs go on the road to face East Carolina on Nov. 12, host South Florida on Nov. 19, and finishes up the season against Navy on Nov. 26.