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Bowl Bubble Update - Nov. 16

 In the interest of getting this done before I leave on vacation, I'll just sum up my opinions on who will get the BCS at-large berths.  Barring weirdness, I expect TCU, Boise State, the Alabama/Florida loser, and either Penn State or Iowa.  Yes, Oklahoma State could, in theory, sneak in there, but they're not generating any buzz or any special ratings.  (Plus they have to beat Oklahoma first.)

WAC: (3 slots)

In: Boise State, Idaho, Fresno State, Nevada

Out: Hawaii, San Jose State, Utah State, New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech.

 

ACC: (9 slots)

In: Boston College, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia Tech

Out: Maryland, North Carolina State, Virginia, Wake Forest

Bubble: Florida State: Just needs to beat Maryland, but it's the ACC, so YNK.

Duke: Not trending in a positive direction, but they still just need one win, and there's no reason they can't beat Wake Forest.

 

Big East: (6 slots)

In: Cincinnati, Pitt, Rutgers, West Virginia

Out: Louisville, Syracuse

Bubble: USF: OK, they only need 1 win and still have Louisville left, but they looked so bad against Rutgers I'm putting them here on general principles.

Connecticut:  The entire league is united in hoping they beat Notre Dame.  That or USF will do it for them, and I expect it to happen.

 

Big 10: (7 slots)

In: Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin

Out: Illinois, Indiana, Purdue

Bubble: Michigan: Let's just say beating Ohio State would be surprising and leave it at that.

 

Big 12: (8 slots)

In: Iowa State, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech

Out: Baylor, Colorado

Bubble: Kansas State: Beat Nebraska and win the division, lose and don't go to a bowl. 

Kansas: If they lose this week (which they should), it's a 5-game losing streak going into the finale against Missouri.  I haven't seen any reason to think they can turn things around now.

 

Pac-10: (6 slots)

In: Arizona, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC

Out: Washington, Washington State

Bubble: UCLA: They should be favored against Arizona State, and the way USC is going, they could win that one too.  A pretty good chance they make it.

Arizona State: Need to beat UCLA and Arizona, and they haven't won in a month.  I'm not crazy about their chances.

 

SEC: (9 slots)

In: AlabamaArkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee

Out: Vanderbilt

Bubble:   Mississippi State: They need to beat Arkansas and Ole Miss, which is pretty unlikely, but not imposssible.  11 bowl-eligible teams would be impressive.

 

Independents: (2+ slots)

In: Navy, Notre Dame

Bubble: Army:  They need to win out - North Texas shouldn't be an issue, but they haven't beaten Navy since 2001, and there's no real reason to expect anything different this year.

 

Conference USA: (5 slots)

In: East Carolina, Houston, Southern Miss, SMU, UCF

Out: Memphis, Rice, Tulane, UTEP

Bubble:  Marshall: I still like their chances with SMU and UTEP left on the schedule.

UAB:  They'll have to upset East Carolina or UCF.  Probably won't happen, but I like their odds better than Tulsa's.

Tulsa: They need to beat Southern Miss this week, and things are a real mess there right now.

 

MAC: (3 slots)

In: Central Michigan, Northern Illinois, Ohio, Temple

Out: AkronBall State, Buffalo, Eastern Michigan, Miami

Bubble: Bowling Green: Just has to beat a terrible Akron team & has another shot against Toledo anyway.

Western Michigan: Needs to beat Eastern Michigan & Ball State, but they have 1 combined win.

Kent State: Only needs 1 win, but Buffalo is not a pushover, and Temple is pretty unlikely.

Toledo: Needs to win out, and beating Bowling Green will be a challenge.

 

Mountain West: (5 slots)

In: BYU, TCU, Utah, Air Force

Out: Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV

Bubble: Wyoming: All they need to do is beat Colorado State, and they have no excuse for not doing that.

 

Sun Belt: (1 slot)

In: Louisiana-Monroe, Troy, MTSU

Out: Arkansas State, FAU, FIU, North Texas, Western Kentucky

Bubble: Louisiana-Lafayette: Still need one more win, with Louisiana-Monroe and Troy left.  But unless they win both, they won't be going to a game in any case.

 

The first question is how many slotless teams will be 7-5.  I'd expect 3 - Bowling Green from the MAC, and MTSU and Louisiana-Monroe from the Sun Belt

I'd predict 4 or 5 open slots (I really can't make my mind up about Duke.), as follows -

Eaglebank (Army) -C-USA covers (can be a 6-6 team)

GMAC (9th ACC) - Probably Sun Belt

Pizza Bowl (7th Big Ten) - Can't be a MAC team, so good chance of Sun Belt

Humanitarian/New Mexico Bowl (5th MWC) - May be forced to take the extra MAC team

Eaglebank (8th ACC?) - This one would be covered by the MAC if it's open, so then the other bowls could fight over which one can take a 6-6 team from a BCS conference.  (UCLA, Iowa State and UConn would seem to be the leading candidates for such a spot.)

Finally, this week's important games, without commentary (there are no games that are likely to impact the BCS scenarios barring a huge upset)

Arizona State at UCLA

Kansas State at Nebraska

Ohio State at Michigan

Mississippi State at Arkansas

Maryland at Florida State

Tulsa at Southern Mississippi

UAB at East Carolina

Kent State at Temple

Duke at Miami

SMU at Marshall

UConn at Notre Dame

Louisville at USF

Louisiana Monroe at Louisiana Lafayette

This content was not created by OBNUG and therefore may not meet our standards. On the contrary, it probably exceeds them.

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