This week cleared up a few things. Arkansas State moved into the “In” category while Georgia Southern and ULM moved to the “Out” category.
The Red Wolves, Troy, Appalachian State, and Idaho give the Sun Belt four bowl eligible teams. ULL and USA are the only ones left with a chance to fill the fifth spot or give the league more eligible teams than bowls.
The Cajuns have to sweep AState in Lafayette and ULM in Monroe to become eligible. The Jaguars to get eligible have to win at Idaho and at home against New Mexico State. If the Jags drop one of those games they can apply for a waiver since they would be a six wins with two over FCS but had scheduled only one until the Florida-LSU schedule fiasco. I think a waiver is unlikely but if there is still hope for USA. If there are not enough eligible teams then USA at 6-6 would be permitted to play in a bowl counting the two FCS wins.
Remember that the Sun Belt bowls are only required to insure the champion or champions are selected for a bowl.
If the Red Wolves win out, they would the most likely for New Orleans but the bowl is going to be in contact with the eligible schools to get an idea of how their pre-sales are going. AState could bump down if Troy or App have strong pre-sales.
If the Red Wolves go to New Orleans, I expect Mobile would take Troy and Appalachian State would return to Montgomery.
AState has won only once in the last ten trips to Lafayette, if the Cajuns win that probably puts Troy in New Orleans, App in Mobile and AState in Montgomery.
Idaho is the most logical choice for Tucson but the AutoNation Cure Bowl would have to release Idaho if the Sun Belt ends up with only four eligible teams.
If one of ULL and USA gets eligible the question will be whether they end up in Orlando or whether one of the first three bowls will pass on App to allow them to go Orlando.
Saturday we may have a very clear idea how things are going. An AState win would eliminate the Cajuns while a ULL win would keep their hopes alive. The Jags and Vandals play at 2:30. A Jags win means they would be alive and potentially available for a bowl and looking at full eligibility with a win over NMSU.
South Alabama would be attractive to Montgomery and probably Orlando as well.
My guess for this week
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl: AState
Dollar General Mobile: Troy
Raycom Media Camellia: South Alabama
AutoNation Cure: Appalachian State
Nova Home Loans Arizona: Idaho