College football is entering week 10 of the season, and the College Football Playoff selection committee released its first rankings earlier this week and now many will begin to speculate who is going bowling where.
To be bowl eligible a team must win six games. Last year was the first year where there were not enough six win teams to fill all of the bowl spots. The remaining spots were filled with 5-7 teams who had the best Academic Progress Report (APR) scores. Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose State were allowed to play in bowl games as 5-7 teams based on their APR score. For the record, all three won their bowl game.
Take a few moments and review how many teams have a chance to be bowl eligible at this point. For the sake of this article, playoff games are not being considered. There are 42 bowl games this year. Three of those games are for the four playoff teams. Leaving us with 39 traditional bowl games and for those games 78 teams need to be bowl eligible.
Many teams (not all, there are a few with three) have four games left to play. If a team has a record of 4-4 (.500) with four games left to play, on paper they are on pace to be bowl eligible. We know that college football is never this simple or easy, and this point the unexpected is very much in play.
I took a few moments and looked at everyone’s current record. Please review the chart below. As you can see 86 team are either bowl eligible or on pace to bowl eligible.
|Number of Wins||AAC||ACC||Big 12||Big 10||CUSA||Ind||MAAC||Mountain West||Pac 12||SEC||Sun Belt||Total wins|
|Minus Playoff Teams||4|
|Minus the remaining 6+ win teams||33|
|Remaining Bowl Positions||49|
If one subtracts the four teams that make the playoffs, that leaves 82 teams for the remaining bowl games. Subtract the other 33 teams that already have the necessary six wins leaving 49 teams who are on pace to qualify for a bowl.
Subtract the 33 teams with six or more wins from the 78 number of teams needed for 39 bowl games, that leaves you with 45. As I see it going into week 10, there are 49 teams on track (but not quite there yet) to be bowl eligible for 45 remaining bowl game spots.
At this point I am going to assume that the five-win teams can win one of their four remaining games. Although there is measurable chance that a three-win team can get hot and win three more games, it is not likely in most situations. With those thoughts in mind 21 of the 25 four-win teams need to win two games down the stretch to have enough six-win teams for 39 bowls.
Let me know your thought, are there going to be enough 6 win team this bowl season.
By Chris Coker
Chris Coker is the Director of Continuing Education at the United States Sports Academy. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.