Big­gest games for teams seek­ing bowl el­i­gi­bil­ity

The Arizona Republic - - College Football - Erick Smith

Most of the at­ten­tion dur­ing the col­lege foot­ball sea­son is fo­cused on the Col­lege Foot­ball Play­off race.

How­ever, there’s also sig­nif­i­cant drama at the bot­tom of the post­sea­son pic­ture.

To fill all the spa­ces in the 39 bowl games this sea­son, 78 teams in the Foot­ball Bowl Sub­di­vi­sion must fin­ish with six or more wins.

If that doesn’t hap­pen, teams with five wins will be added to the mix.

Here’s the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion in­volv­ing the 129 teams el­i­gi­ble to play in the post­sea­son with three weeks left in the sea­son:

❚ 48 teams have at least six wins.

❚ 23 teams al­ready have seven losses.

❚ The 30 avail­able spots must be filled by the re­main­ing 58 teams.

Here are some of the key games this week that will de­ter­mine if the field is filled:

Mi­ami (Fla.) (5-4) at Ge­or­gia Tech (5-4)

It wasn’t sup­posed to be like this for the Hur­ri­canes, who started the sea­son in the top 10. But here they are with three games left and not a sim­ple path con­sid­er­ing their cur­rent form. The Yel­low Jack­ets looked cer­tain to end their sea­son in Novem­ber, but four wins in five games have them on the brink of a bowl.

Cal­i­for­nia (5-4) at South­ern Cal­i­for­nia (5-4) The Pac-12 has six teams with five wins as it tries to fill all of its bowl slots. Ei­ther the Golden Bears or Tro­jans can punch their ticket this week. Cal is on the up­swing after beat­ing Wash­ing­ton and play­ing Wash­ing­ton State close away from home. USC hasn’t missed a bowl game in a sea­son it was el­i­gi­ble since 2000.

Ten­nessee (4-5) vs. Ken­tucky

It’s been an up-and-down year for the Vol­un­teers in Jeremy Pruitt’s first cam­paign. An op­por­tu­nity for a post­sea­son fin­ish re­mains, and the road would be a lot eas­ier with an up­set of the Wild­cats con­sid­er­ing that would leave some mar­gin for er­ror.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.