There are four more Saturdays of regular season college football left (not counting the annual Army loss to Navy on December 12). In terms of games remaining we are really left with about three weeks worth of games. I think 77 get eligible and don’t see more than 79 being very likely. Computer models seem to be settling in at 77.
American: Bowl ties: 7. Bowl Eligible: 6. Remaining teams not eliminated: 3
American really has six conference ties but Military Bowl played at Annapolis has a tie with Navy making it seven bowls. The American has the inside track to be the G5 Access bowl team so they will likely have 8 slots to fill.
Tulsa needs one win, home against Navy is unlikely but should have a good shot at Tulane. UConn needs one win but they host AAC West leading Houston and play at East leading Temple. East Carolina has to win out. They play at winless UCF and host Cincinnati.
I expect Tulsa to make it. With the AAC likely providing the Access bowl team, AAC needs ECU to make it to avoid shorting the Cure Bowl.
ACC: Bowl ties: 9. Bowl eligible: 8. Remaining teams not eliminated: 1.
The ACC had one team get eligible this week and had four eliminated. Virginia Tech is the only school left fighting to get eligible. The Hokies host UNC and travel to Virginia.
Unless Virginia Tech stumbles at Virginia or the CFP pulls out a second team, the ACC should cover all of its bowls. If Notre Dame falls out of the CFP selected games the ACC could end up with more teams to place than slots.
Big XII: Bowl ties: 7. Bowl eligible: 5. Remaining teams not eliminated: 3.
West Virginia needs one win and has three more games. They play @Kansas, Iowa State, @Kansas State in the last three. Texas has to win out playing Texas Tech and @Baylor. Kansas State has to win out playing Iowa State, @Kansas, and West Virginia their fate probably isn’t resolved until the last day of the season hosting West Virginia.
West Virginia should make it. If Kansas State comes up short the Heart of Dallas will be vacant.
Big 10: Bowl ties 10. Bowl eligible: 7. Remaining teams not eliminated: 4.
No new teams eligible this week and only one knocked out.
llinois needs one more win, they travel to Minnesota and meet Northwestern at Soldier Field, probably not favored in any of those. Minnesota needs to win out hosting Illinois and Wisconsin. Nebraska has this week off before hosting Iowa. Indiana needs two wins they travel to Maryland and Purdue.
Just seems unlikely for the Big 10 to get more than one more eligible. I would expect the Big Ten shorts the Armed Forces Bowl and probably Quick Lane in Detroit.
Conference USA: Bowl ties: 7. Bowl eligible: 4. Remaining teams not eliminated: 5.
No change from last week. No one new eligible, no one eliminated.
MTSU needs one and should be favored in the remaining three (UNT, ODU), FIU needs one win but they host WKU the Panthers are a long shot. Old Dominion needs one win, they should lose at USM and then get FAU at home. UTEP needs two wins, they have to beat LaTech at home then travel to North Texas. Rice needs two wins playing at UTSA and host Charlotte, the UTSA game probably determines their fate.
Just like last week, I think MTSU, ODU, and Rice make it.
Mid-American: Bowl ties 5. Bowl eligible: 5. Remaining teams not eliminated: 3.
Central Michigan needs one win and should beat one or both of Eastern Michigan and Kent. Buffalo needs one and closes the season at home with UMass, they could make it earlier with a win at Akron. Akron needs two wins and should be favored in the final two Buffalo and Kent.
MAC will likely have eight eligible teams for five spots.
Mountain West: Bowl ties 6. Bowl eligible: 5. Remaining teams not eliminated: 6.
One new eligible and one eliminated this week.
Utah State needs one win and will be favored over Nevada at home and an underdog vs BYU at home. New Mexico needs one but they will be underdogs when they host Colorado State and Air Force. Colorado State needs one and should be favored in the final two games. San Jose State needs two, they should be a favorite at Hawaii then face Boise.
If Utah State makes it then I think MWC ends up with one more team than they have spots for.
Pac-12: Bowl ties 7. Bowl eligible: 8. Remaining teams not eliminated: 2.
Pac-12 appears to have bombed out of the CFP.
Washington needs two they travel to Oregon State before hosting Washington State. Arizona State needs one hosting Arizona then finishing at Cal.
Pac-12 already has an extra team, should have two extra and could get to three.
Southeastern: Bowl ties: 10, Bowl eligible: 9 Remaining teams not eliminated: 4
The SEC really should have 11 spots to fill with the CFP set-up.
Auburn needs one and they host Idaho in addition to Alabama. Kentucky needs two, Charlotte should be one but they have to win at home vs Louisville. Mizzou needs two and will not be favored in any remaining game, host Tennessee and travel to Arkansas. Vanderbilt has to win out they host Texas A&M and travel to Tennessee.
Expecting the SEC to leave the Independence open.
Sun Belt: Bowl ties: 4, Bowl eligible: 3. Remaining teams not eliminated: 3
Louisiana Lafayette needs two with home games vs NMSU and Troy and a road trip to App. South Alabama needs one and travels to Georgia State, if they drop that they have to either win at Georgia Southern or home against App. Georgia State has to win out hosting USA and Troy then a trip to Georgia Southern.
Sun Belt will get four, five is possible.
My Sun Belt selections:
Sticking with my same picks from last week
New Orleans: AState, GoDaddy: Appalachian State, Montgomery: ULL, Cure: Georgia Southern, TBD: USA
What happens under 80?
If there are five or fewer bowl slots still open after placing all bowl eligible teams and all other exceptions are applied, the NCAA will create a list of the the five teams that are 5-7 with the highest APR. Bowls looking to fill a vacancy will be provided with the list and may select any school from the list in any order.
The question left unanswered (and hopefully we do not find out this year) is what happens if there are more than five vacancies. The policy adopted only contemplates a list of five schools, if there are more than five slots to fill we may see a game ending being cancelled.