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Bowl Watch: Will 70 teams get to 6-6 or better?

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Since expanding to 35 bowl games, people have always said that one day, there would not be enough eligible teams. Has that time arrived?

Can Chad Bumphis and the Bulldogs keep Ole Miss from bowl eligibility?
Can Chad Bumphis and the Bulldogs keep Ole Miss from bowl eligibility?
Butch Dill

The race to 70 has reached its final laps in the 2012 season. With 35 bowl games, the NCAA has played with fire over the past few seasons, hoping to get enough teams to finish at 6-6. This year, their luck may run out because of the number of teams not participating in bowl games through punishments. So as we are kicking off the final full week of football, here is a conference by conference breakdown of the race.

Conference

Eligible

Still alive

Not Bowling

Max Total

ACC

FSU, Clemson, North Carolina State, Georgia Tech*, Duke

(5 teams)

Wake Forest, Virigina Tech

Maryland, Boston College, North Carolina, Miami, Virginia

8

Big 12

Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas Tech, TCU, West Virginia, Iowa State

(8 teams)

Baylor

Kansas

9

Big East

Rutgers, Louisville, Syracuse, Cincinnati

(4 teams)

UConn, Pitt

Temple, South Florida

5

Big Ten

Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern, Minnesota, Wisconsin

(5 teams)

Michigan State, Purdue

Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, Indiana, Illinois

7

CUSA

East Carolina, UCF, Tulsa

(3 teams)

SMU, Rice

Marshall, Memphis, UAB, USM, Houston, UTEP, Tulane

5

Independents

Notre Dame, Navy, BYU

(3 teams)

Army

3

MAC

Kent State, Bowling Green, Ohio, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Toledo, Central Michigan

(7 teams)

Buffalo, Miami (OH), Massachusetts, Akron, Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan

7

MWC

Boise St, Fresno St, San Diego St, Air Force, Nevada

(5 teams)

Wyoming, Colorado St, UNLV, New Mexico, Hawaii

5

Pac-12

Stanford, Oregon, Oregon St, Washington, UCLA, USC, Arizona St, Arizona

(8 teams)

California, Washington St, Utah, Colorado

8

SEC

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

(8 teams)

Missouri, Ole Miss

Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn

10

Sun Belt

Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee St, UL-Monroe, UL-Lafayette, Western Kentucky

(5 teams)

Troy

North Texas, FIU, FAU, South Alabama

6

WAC

Utah State, LA Tech, San Jose State

(3 teams)

Texas State, Idaho, New Mexico State, UTSA**

3

Grand Totals

64

12

76

*If Georgia finishes off their win over Georgia Tech, and if the Yellow Jackets lose to Florida State, they will finish 6-7. In that situation, they would need a special exemption to play in a bowl game. This was given to UCLA last year, and I am going ahead and assuming one would be given for them this year.

**UTSA has enough wins to be bowl eligible, but since it is in the transition to FBS process, it cannot qualify for a bowl game.

While a doomsday could happen and 5-7 teams would play in bowl games, none of the teams fighting for eligibility play each other. Here are the games with teams fighting for eligibility.

UConn at Louisville--11 am

Rutgers at Pitt--11 am

Tulsa at SMU--11 am

Indiana at Purdue--11am

Virginia at Virginia Tech--11am

Baylor vs Texas Tech (Cowboys Stadium) 1:30pm

Troy at Middle Tennessee State--2:30pm

Michigan State at Minnesota--2:30pm

Vanderbilt at Wake Forest--2:30pm

Mississippi State at Ole Miss--6pm

Missouri at Texas A&M--6pm

Rice at UTEP--6pm