Bowl Bubble Watch- Week 12 Edition

The most comprehensive analysis of the college football bowl bubble is back!  For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing which teams will get bowl bids and which will not.  Below, I have written a report for every team that has yet to be declared either bowl eligible or ineligible.  Each week this list will be updated and new odds will be provided for each team.  Please note that these odds only represent the chances that a particular team will get enough wins to be eligible to receive a bowl bid.  They do not represent the odds a team has for actually receiving a bid.  This discrepancy likely won’t affect the bowl chances of most major conference teams, but as we saw last year with Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose States, sometimes a squad can fall short of bowl eligibility and still garner a bowl bid at 5-7 if all spots aren’t filled.  The teams are ordered in descending order of likelihood that they will become bowl eligible.  As of now, there are 18 teams on the list with 9 predicted to attain bowl eligibility and 9 predicted to fall short.  As of now, I’m projecting there to be 74 bowl eligible teams for 2016 (see full stats at the bottom of this entry).  Keep in mind that there are a total of 80 bowl slots to be filled, so be prepared for another slew of 5-7 squads to attain bowl bids in 2016.  This list is updated through all games played on November 19th.  

Good Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams closing in on bowl bids (9):

Maryland– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Rutgers; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 82% (previous odds: 86%, 84%)

Northwestern- Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Illinois; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 78% (previous odds: 66%, 81%)

Indiana– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Purdue; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 65% (previous odds: 70%, 66%)

Miami-OH– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ball State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 63% (previous odds: 52%, 63%)

UTSA– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Charlotte; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 61% (previous odds: 64%, 62%)

Texas– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. TCU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 58% (previous odds: 89%, 83%)

Ole Miss– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule:vs. Mississippi State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 57% (previous odds: 56%, 75%)

North Texas Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at UTEP; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 55% (previous odds: 34%, 33%)

Arizona State– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Arizona; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 52% (previous odds: 53%, 53%)

Bad Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams who will likely be home for the holidays (9):

TCU– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Texas, vs. Kansas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 46% (previous odds: 65%, 65%)

Boston College– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Wake Forest; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 43% (previous odds: 42%, 40%)

NC State– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at North Carolina; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 38% (previous odds: 38%, 43%)

Southern Miss– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule:  vs. Louisiana Tech; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 37% (previous odds: 60%, 52%)

South Alabama (must get to 7 wins)- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Idaho, vs. New Mexico State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 36% (previous odds: 33%, 34%)

Vanderbilt– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Tennessee; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 33%  (previous odds: 37%, 15%)

Akron– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Ohio; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 32% (previous odds: 33%, 32%)

SMU– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Navy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 30% (previous odds: 20%, 35%)

UL-Lafayette Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Arkansas State, at UL-Monroe; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 26% (previous odds: 31%, 31%)

Already Bowl Eligible (65):  Temple, South Florida, Tulsa, Navy, Houston, Memphis, Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Wyoming, Boise State, New Mexico, Air Force, San Diego State, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Colorado, Utah, Southern Cal, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A & M, Arkansas, Appalachian State, Troy, UCF (previous odds: 75%), Miami-FL (previous odds: 90%), Brigham Young (previous odds: 99%), Georgia Tech (previous odds: 57%), Georgia (previous odds: 92%), Idaho (previous odds: 77%), Pittsburgh (previous odds: 84%), LSU (previous odds: 59%), Iowa (previous odds: 67%), Central Michigan (previous odds: 48%), Arkansas State (previous odds: 80%, 85%), Kentucky (previous odds: 98%, 97%), South Carolina (previous odds: 97%, 95%), Army  (previous odds: 96%, 94%), Kansas State (previous odds: 91%, 91%), Colorado State (previous odds: 54%, 47%)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game (45):  UConn, Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, Rutgers, Florida International, Marshall, Florida Atlantic, Rice, UMass, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, San Jose State, Fresno State, Oregon State, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia State, Purdue (previous odds: 7%), East Carolina (previous odds: 12%), New Mexico State (previous odds: 2%), Illinois, (previous odds: 4%), Tulane (previous odds: 3%), Texas State (previous odds: 1%), Oregon (previous odds: 29%), UTEP (previous odds: 36%), Hawaii (previous odds: 28%), Utah State (previous odds: 22%), Nevada (previous odds: 11%), Georgia Southern  (previous odds: 44%, 44%), Texas Tech (previous odds: 40%, 37%), Notre Dame (previous odds: 15%, 23%), UNLV (previous odds: 10%, 16%), Charlotte (previous odds: 35%, 14%), Duke (previous odds: 4%, 13%), UL-Monroe (previous odds: 6%, 12%), Ball State (previous odds: 9%, 9%), Cincinnati (previous odds: 18%, 8%), Syracuse (previous odds: 30%, 7%), California (previous odds: 41%, 36%), Mississippi State (previous odds: 39%, 39%), UCLA (previous odds: 26%, 28%)

Current Stats:

Already Bowl Eligible: 65

Predicted to be Bowl Eligible: 9 (74)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game: 45

Predicted not to become Bowl Eligible: 9 (54)

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Week 12 College Football Picks

These are in order from my most confident pick to least confident.  Lines are based on the current spreads on vegasinsider.com.

Nevada (+5.5) vs. Utah State- 4:00
Arkansas State (+9.0) at Troy- Thurs 9:30
California (+10.5) vs. Stanford- 5:30
Hawaii (-2.5) at Fresno State- 7:00
UMass (+30.5) at Brigham Young- 2:00
Florida (+14.0) at LSU- 1:00
Old Dominion (-8.0) at Florida Atlantic- 6:00
Iowa (-10.5) at Illinois- 12:00
Clemson (-21.5) at Wake Forest- 7:00
New Mexico (+4.5) at Colorado State- 10:15

Last Week’s Record: 5-5, Overall Season Record: 55-55

Week 12 College Football Upsets to Watch Out For

These are in order from least shocking to most shocking according to the current consensus lines on VegasInsider.com:

Eastern Michigan (+3.0) vs. Northern Illinois- Wed. 8:00
West Virginia (+3.0) vs. Oklahoma- 8:00
Oklahoma State (+4.0) at TCU- 12:00
Washington State (+4.5) at Colorado- 3:30
New Mexico (+4.5) at Colorado State- 10:15
Nevada (+6.0) vs. Utah State- 4:00
Arizona (+6.5) at Oregon State- 10:30
Arkansas State (+9.5) at Troy- Thurs 9:30
California (+11.0) at Stanford- 5:30
Florida (+14.0) at LSU- 1:00

Last week’s Upset Pick of the Week: UL-Monroe (+12.0) at Georgia State

Conference Championship Analysis- Week 11 Edition

For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing the conference championship races.  Like my bowl bubble watch, there is not really a column like this on any other mainstream college football site.  Bold teams have already clinched their division or conference.  Italicized teams are my predicted champions of their respective conferences/divisions at this point in time.  This list is updated through all games played on November 12. 2016.

ACC AtlanticClemson (Despite their shocking loss to Pitt, the Tigers will clinch the ACC Atlantic with a win over Wake Forest.  A loss will send Louisville to the title game instead.)

ACC CoastalVirginia Tech (Oddly enough, both Virginia Tech and North Carolina suffered shocking losses this weekend.  As a result, this division race is in the exact same position it was to start the week.  The Hokies are tied with the Heels for the division lead but they possess the always important head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams.  As a result, Virginia Tech just needs to beat Virginia or have UNC lose to NC State to win the Coastal.)

Big Ten EastPenn State (It’s so strange for me to pick the Nittany Lions to win this division over their vastly superior counterparts of Michigan and Ohio State.  However, as a result of of Michigan’s shocking loss to Iowa, Penn State now just needs to beat two cupcakes in Michigan State and Rutgers and then have Ohio State knock off Michigan in their finale in order to win the Big Ten East.)

Big Ten WestWisconsin (The Badgers are tied with Nebraska for division lead but do possess all important head-to-head tiebreaker over the Cornhuskers.  As a result, Badgers just need to win at Purdue next week and at home against Minnesota the following week to clinch a berth in Big Ten Title Game.)

Big 12West Virginia (By virtue of their victory over Texas on Saturday, the Mountaineers are in the driver’s seat for the conference crown.  They host Oklahoma next weekend, and if they win that one they’ll just need to beat struggling Iowa State and Baylor to win the conference crown.)

Pac-12 NorthWashington (As long as Washington takes care of business against Arizona State next Saturday, the Pac-12 North will be decided by the Apple Cup the day after Thanksgiving.  If Washington does stumble against the Sun Devils and the Cougars can escape Boulder with a win,  then Wazzu will clinch the division next weekend.)

Pac-12 SouthSouthern California (The always interesting Pac-12 South comes down to a three-way battle between Colorado, Southern Cal, and Utah.  The Buffs have the advantage at this point because they a one game lead over both the Utes and Trojans.  However, Colorado has two tough home games left, against Washington State and Utah. and I’m predicting they drop the first of those contests which would send the Men of Troy to the title game, as long as they beat UCLA next weekend.)

SEC EastTennessee (The Vols should win out with remaining games against Missouri and Vanderbilt.  If they do that, then they will just need Florida to lose next week at LSU and the Vols will get a second chance to get destroyed by the Crimson Tide in the SEC Championship Game.)

SEC WestAlabama

AAC EastTemple (It’s crazy to think that Temple is on the brink of consecutive division championships in football, but all the Owls need to do is take care of business against conference bottom-dwellers Tulane and ECU to make a second consecutive conference championship game.  If they do slip up in one of those contests, then South Florida will control its own division destiny.)

AAC WestNavy (The Midshipmen will clinch the division crown with a win over either East Carolina or SMU in their remaining two games.)

C-USA EastWestern Kentucky (The Hilltoppers clinch C-USA East with win over Marshall in season finale or an Old Dominion loss to either Florida Atlantic or Florida International.)

C-USA WestLouisiana Tech

MAC EastOhio (The Bobcats have a de facto two game lead in the division standings by virtue of their head-to-head win over Miami-OH.  As a result, Ohio just needs to beat either Central Michigan or Akron in their final two games to get a berth in the MAC Title Game and have a shot to win their first conference championship game since 1968.  A feat I predicted them to achieve in my preseason predictions)

MAC WestWestern Michigan (As long as Toledo takes care of business next weekend against Ball State, there will be a de facto division title game in the final week of the regular season between the Broncos and Rockets.  Western Michigan will have a distinct advantage in that one as they will be playing at home with the more talented roster.)

MWC MountainBoise State (Even though Boise and Wyoming are currently tied for division lead and Wyoming possesses tiebreaker, I’m calling for the Cowboys to lose to San Diego State next Saturday, which will open the door for the Broncos to reclaim this division championship.)

MWC WestSan Diego State

Sun BeltTroy (The Trojans won the first half of their conference championship double header with a huge win over App State on Saturday.  Now, the Trojans just have to find a way to beat the other conference leader Arkansas State this Thursday to almost assuredly win a surprise Sun Belt Championship.)

Bowl Bubble Watch- Week 11 Edition

The most comprehensive analysis of the college football bowl bubble is back!  For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing which teams will get bowl bids and which will not.  Below, I have written a report for every team that has yet to be declared either bowl eligible or ineligible.  Each week this list will be updated and new odds will be provided for each team.  Please note that these odds only represent the chances that a particular team will get enough wins to be eligible to receive a bowl bid.  They do not represent the odds a team has for actually receiving a bid.  This discrepancy likely won’t affect the bowl chances of most major conference teams, but as we saw last year with Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose States, sometimes a squad can fall short of bowl eligibility and still garner a bowl bid at 5-7 if all spots aren’t filled.  The teams are ordered in descending order of likelihood that they will become bowl eligible.  As of now, there are 48 teams on the list with 15 predicted to attain bowl eligibility and 23 predicted to fall short.  As of now, I’m projecting there to be 73 bowl eligible teams for 2016 (see full stats at the bottom of this entry).  Keep in mind that there are a total of 80 bowl slots to be filled, so be prepared for another slew of 5-7 squads to attain bowl bids in 2016.  This list is updated through all games played on November 12th.  

Good Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams closing in on bowl bids (15):

Kentucky– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Austin Peay, at Louisville; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 97% (previous odds: 98%)

South Carolina– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Western Carolina, at Clemson; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 95% (previous odds: 97%)

Army– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Morgan State, vs. Navy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 94% (previous odds: 96%)

Kansas State– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Baylor, vs. Kansas, at TCU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 91% (previous odds: 91%)

Arkansas State– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Troy, at UL-Lafayette, at Texas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 85% (previous odds: 80%)

Maryland– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Nebraska, vs. Rutgers; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 84% (previous odds: 86%)

Texas– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Kansas, vs. TCU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 83% (previous odds: 89%)

Northwestern- Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Minnesota, vs. Illinois; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 81% (previous odds: 66%)

Ole Miss– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule:at Vanderbilt, vs. Mississippi State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 75% (previous odds: 56%)

Indiana– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Michigan, vs. Purdue; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 66% (previous odds: 70%)

TCU– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs.Oklahoma State, at Texas, vs. Kansas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 65% (previous odds: 65%)

Miami-OH– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ball State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 63% (previous odds: 52%)

UTSA– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Texas A & M, vs. Charlotte; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 62% (previous odds: 64%)

Arizona State– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Washington, at Arizona; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 53% (previous odds: 53%)

Southern Miss– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at North Texas, vs. Louisiana Tech; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 52% (previous odds: 60%)

Bad Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams who will likely be home for the holidays (23):

Central Michigan– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ohio, at Eastern Michigan; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 48% (previous odds: 48%)

Colorado State– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. New Mexico, at San Diego State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 47% (previous odds: 54%)

Georgia Southern– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Georgia State, vs. Troy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 44% (previous odds: 44%)

NC State– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Miami-FL, at North Carolina; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 43% (previous odds: 38%)

Boston College– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. UConn, at Wake Forest; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 40% (previous odds: 42%)

Mississippi State– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Arkansas, at Ole Miss; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 39% (previous odds: 39%)

Texas Tech– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Iowa State, vs. Baylor; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 37% (previous odds: 40%)

California– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Stanford, vs. UCLA; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 36% (previous odds: 41%)

SMU– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. South Florida, vs. Navy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 35% (previous odds: 20%)

South Alabama (must get to 7 wins)- Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Presbyterian, at Idaho, vs. New Mexico State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 34% (previous odds: 33%)

North Texas Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Southern Miss, at UTEP; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 33% (previous odds: 34%)

Akron– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Ohio; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 32% (previous odds: 33%)

UL-Lafayette Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Georgia, vs. Arkansas State, at UL-Monroe; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 31% (previous odds: 31%)

UCLA– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Southern Cal, at California; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 28% (previous odds: 26%)

Notre Dame- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Virginia Tech, at Southern Cal; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 23% (previous odds: 15%)

UNLV– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Boise State, vs. Nevada; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 16%  (previous odds: 10%)

Vanderbilt– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ole Miss, vs. Tennessee; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 15%  (previous odds: 37%)

Charlotte– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Middle Tennessee, at UTSA; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 14% (previous odds: 35%)

Duke– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Pittsburgh, at Miami-FL; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 13% (previous odds: 4%)

UL-Monroe– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Appalachian State, vs. UL-Lafayette; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 12% (previous odds: 6%)

Ball State– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Toledo, at Miami-OH; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 9% (previous odds: 9%)

Cincinnati- Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Memphis, at Tulsa; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 8% (previous odds: 18%)

Syracuse– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Florida State, at Pitt; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 7% (previous odds: 30%)

Already Bowl Eligible (58):  Temple, South Florida, Tulsa, Navy, Houston, Memphis, Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Wyoming, Boise State, New Mexico, Air Force, San Diego State, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Colorado, Utah, Southern Cal, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A & M, Arkansas, Appalachian State, Troy, UCF (previous odds: 75%), Miami-FL (previous odds: 90%), Brigham Young (previous odds: 99%), Georgia Tech (previous odds: 57%), Georgia (previous odds: 92%), Idaho (previous odds: 77%), Pittsburgh (previous odds: 84%), LSU (previous odds: 59%), Iowa (previous odds: 67%)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game (32):  UConn, Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, Rutgers, Florida International, Marshall, Florida Atlantic, Rice, UMass, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, San Jose State, Fresno State, Oregon State, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia State, Purdue (previous odds: 7%), East Carolina (previous odds: 12%), New Mexico State (previous odds: 2%), Illinois, (previous odds: 4%), Tulane (previous odds: 3%), Texas State (previous odds: 1%), Oregon (previous odds: 29%), UTEP (previous odds: 36%), Hawaii (previous odds: 28%), Utah State (previous odds: 22%), Nevada (previous odds: 11%)

Current Stats:

Already Bowl Eligible: 58

Predicted to be Bowl Eligible: 15 (73)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game: 32

Predicted not to become Bowl Eligible: 23 (55)

Bowl Bubble Watch- Inaugural 2016 Edition

The most comprehensive analysis of the college football bowl bubble is back!  For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing which teams will get bowl bids and which will not.  Below, I have written a report for every team that has yet to be declared either bowl eligible or ineligible.  Each week this list will be updated and new odds will be provided for each team.  Please note that these odds only represent the chances that a particular team will get enough wins to be eligible to receive a bowl bid.  They do not represent the odds a team has for actually receiving a bid.  This discrepancy likely won’t affect the bowl chances of most major conference teams, but as we saw last year with Nebraska, Minnesota, and San Jose States, sometimes a squad can fall short of bowl eligibility and still garner a bowl bid at 5-7 if all spots aren’t filled.  The teams are ordered in descending order of likelihood that they will become bowl eligible.  As of now, there are 58 teams on the list with 25 predicted to attain bowl eligibility and 33 predicted to fall short.  As of now, I’m projecting there to be 74 bowl eligible teams for 2016, so expect another group of 5-7 teams to garner bowl berths in 2016 (see full stats at the bottom of this entry).  Keep in mind that there are a total of 80 bowl slots to be filled.  This list is updated through all games played on November 10th.  

Good Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams closing in on bowl bids (25):

Brigham Young– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule:vs. Southern Utah, vs. UMass, vs. Utah State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 99%

Kentucky– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Tennessee, vs. Austin Peay, at Louisville; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 98%

South Carolina– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Florida, vs. Western Carolina, at Clemson; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 97%

Army– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Notre Dame, vs. Morgan State, vs. Navy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 96%

Georgia– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Auburn, vs. UL-Lafayette, vs. Georgia Tech; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 92%

Kansas State– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Baylor, vs. Kansas, at TCU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 91%

Miami-FL– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Virginia, at NC State, vs. Duke; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 90%

Texas– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. West Virginia, at Kansas, vs. TCU; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 89%

Maryland– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ohio State, at Nebraska, vs. Rutgers; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 86%

Pittsburgh– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Clemson, vs. Duke, vs. Syracuse; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 85%

Arkansas State– Record: 4-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. New Mexico State, at Troy, at UL-Lafayette, at Texas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 80%

Idaho– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Texas State, vs. South Alabama, vs. Georgia State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 77%

UCF– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Cincinnati, vs. Tulsa, at South Florida; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 75%

Indiana– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Penn State, at Michigan, vs. Purdue; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 70%

Iowa Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs. Michigan, at Illinois, vs. Nebraska; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 67%

Northwestern- Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Purdue, at Minnesota, vs. Illinois; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 66%

TCU– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: vs.Oklahoma State, at Texas, vs. Kansas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 65% (previous odds: 65%)

UTSA– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Louisiana Tech, at Texas A & M, vs. Charlotte; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 64%

Southern Miss– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Old Dominion, at North Texas, vs. Louisiana Tech; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 60%

LSU– Record: 5-3; Remaining Schedule: at Arkansas, vs. Florida, at Texas A & M; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 59%

Georgia Tech– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule:at Virginia Tech, vs. Virginia, at Georgia; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 57%

Ole Miss– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Texas A & M, at Vanderbilt, vs. Mississippi State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 56%

Colorado State– Record: 5-4; Remaining Schedule: at Air Force, vs. New Mexico, at San Diego State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 54%

Arizona State– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: at Washington, at Arizona; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 53% (previous odds: 53%)

Miami-OH– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Buffalo, vs. Ball State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 52%

Bad Side of the Bowl Bubble: Teams who will likely be home for the holidays (33):

Central Michigan– Record: 5-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Ohio, at Eastern Michigan; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 48% (previous odds: 48%)

Georgia Southern– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Georgia State, vs. Troy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 44% (previous odds: 44%)

Boston College– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Florida State, vs. UConn, at Wake Forest; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 42%

California– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Washington State, vs. Stanford, vs. UCLA; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 41%

Texas Tech– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule:at Oklahoma State, at Iowa State, vs. Baylor; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 40%

Mississippi State– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Alabama, vs. Arkansas, at Ole Miss; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 39%

NC State– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Syracuse, vs. Miami-FL, at North Carolina; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 38%

Vanderbilt– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Missouri, vs. Ole Miss, vs. Tennessee; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 37%

UTEP– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: at Florida Atlantic, at Rice, vs. North Texas; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 36%

Charlotte– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Rice, vs. Middle Tennessee, at UTSA; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 35%

North Texas Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Western Kentucky, vs. Southern Miss, at UTEP; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 34%

South Alabama (must get to 7 wins)- Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. Presbyterian, at Idaho, vs. New Mexico State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 33% (previous odds: 33%)

Akron– Record: 5-6; Remaining Schedule: at Ohio; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 32% (previous odds: 33%)

UL-Lafayette Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at Georgia, vs. Arkansas State, at UL-Monroe; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 31% (previous odds: 31%)

Syracuse– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: vs. NC State, vs. Florida State, at Pitt; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 30%

Oregon– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Stanford, at Utah, at Oregon State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 29%

Hawaii- Record: 4-6 (must get to 7 wins); Remaining Schedule: vs. Boise State, at Fresno State, vs. UMass; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 28%

UCLA– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Oregon State, vs. Southern Cal, at California; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 26%

Utah State- Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. New Mexico, at Nevada, at Brigham Young; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 22%

SMU– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at East Carolina, vs. South Florida, vs. Navy; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 20%

Cincinnati– Record: 4-5; Remaining Schedule: at UCF, vs. Memphis, at Tulsa; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 18%

Notre Dame- Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Army, vs. Virginia Tech, at Southern Cal; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 15%

Duke– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Pittsburgh, at Miami-FL; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 13% (previous odds: 4%)

East Carolina– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. SMU, vs. Navy, at Temple; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 12%

Nevada Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. San Diego State, vs. Utah State, at UNLV; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 11%

UNLV– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Wyoming, at Boise State, vs. Nevada; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 10%

Ball State– Record: 4-6; Remaining Schedule: at Toledo, at Miami-OH; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 9% (previous odds: 9%)

Purdue– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Northwestern, vs. Wisconsin, at Indiana; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 7%

UL-Monroe– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: at Georgia State, at Appalachian State, vs. UL-Lafayette; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 6%

Illinois– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: at Wisconsin, vs. Iowa, at Northwestern; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 4%

Tulane– Record: 3-6; Remaining Schedule: at Houston, vs. Temple, at UConn; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 3%

New Mexico State– Record: 2-6; Remaining Schedule: at Arkansas State, vs. Texas State, vs. Appalachian State, at South Alabama; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 2%

Texas State– Record: 2-6; Remaining Schedule: vs. Idaho, at New Mexico State, vs. Troy, vs. Arkansas State; Odds of Bowl Eligibility: 1%

Already Bowl Eligible (49):  Temple, South Florida, Tulsa, Navy, Houston, Memphis, Clemson, Louisville, Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Baylor, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Western Kentucky, Old Dominion, Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Tech, Ohio, Western Michigan, Toledo, Eastern Michigan, Wyoming, Boise State, New Mexico, Air Force, San Diego State, Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Colorado, Utah, Southern Cal, Florida, Tennessee, Alabama, Auburn, Texas A & M, Arkansas, Appalachian State, Troy

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game (21):  UConn, Virginia, Iowa State, Kansas, Michigan State, Rutgers, Florida International, Marshall, Florida Atlantic, Rice, UMass, Kent State, Buffalo, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, San Jose State, Fresno State, Oregon State, Arizona, Missouri, Georgia State

Current Stats:

Already Bowl Eligible: 49

Predicted to be Bowl Eligible: 25 (74)

Already Ineligible for a Bowl Game: 33

Predicted not to become Bowl Eligible: 21 (54)

Conference Championship Analysis- Inaugural 2016 Edition

For the eighth-straight year, I will be publishing weekly November columns analyzing the conference championship races.  Like my bowl bubble watch, there is not really a column like this on any other mainstream college football site.  Bold teams have already clinched their division or conference.  Italicized teams are my predicted champions of their respective conferences/divisions at this point in time.  This list is updated through all games played on November 9, 2016.

ACC AtlanticClemson (The Tigers will clinch the ACC Atlantic with a home win over Pittsburgh on Saturday or a victory over Wake the following weekend.)

ACC CoastalVirginia Tech (The Hokies are tied with the Heels for the division lead but they possess the always important head-to-head tiebreaker between the two teams.  As a result, Virginia Tech controls its own destiny and just has to win home games over Georgia Tech and Virginia to clinch the Coastal.)

Big Ten EastOhio State  (Even though the Buckeyes currently trail Michigan by a game in the division race, Ohio State hosts the Wolverines in the regular season finale on November 26th.  If Ohio State wins there, there will likely be a three-way tie between OSU, Michigan, and Penn State, which the Buckeyes will win by virtue of Penn State having a worse overall record.)

Big Ten WestWisconsin (There is currently a three-way tie for the division crown between the Badgers, Cornhuskers, and Golden Gophers but Minnesota has to travel to both Madison and Lincoln in the final three weeks of the season.  Conversely, Nebraska and Wisconsin should both win out, but Wisconsin possesses the head-to-head tiebreaker between the two squads.)

Big 12Oklahoma (I’m predicting the Sooners drop their road tilt against West Virginia next weekend, but they should still be able to defend their Big 12 title, as I think the other two teams in contention, Oklahoma State and West Virginia, will also drop at least one game down the stretch.)

Pac-12 NorthWashington (Even if Washington or Washington State lose one of their upcoming games, the division crown should come down to the Apple Cup on November 25th.  The game is in Pullman and I picked Wazzu to win the division in the preseason, but the Huskies have just looked so dominant that I’ve got to pick them to win that game at this point.)

Pac-12 SouthColorado (The always interesting Pac-12 South comes down to a three-way battle between Colorado, Southern Cal, and Utah.  The Buffs have the advantage at this point because they a one game lead on the Utes and Trojans and get to host Utah in the season finale.  If Colorado does manage to pull off a division and/or conference title, then it will be the Cinderella story of the year in college football unless neighboring Wyoming manages to do the same in the MWC Mountain, see below.)

SEC EastTennessee (Interestingly, the Vols currently sit all the way back in 5th in the current division standings, but they should win out with remaining games against Kentucky, Missouri, and Vanderbilt.  If they do that, then they will just need Florida to lose at home to South Carolina on Saturday or the following week at LSU.  I’m predicting the Gators drop the latter of those two contests which will give the Vols a second opportunity to get blown out by Bama.)

SEC WestAlabama (If Auburn can survive a road trip to Athens this Saturday, then the division title will come down once again to another Iron Bowl matchup between Alabama and Auburn.  I’d give the Tigers a puncher’s chance in that game if they were playing at home, but they’re not going to beat the Tide in Tuscaloosa.)

AAC EastTemple (It’s crazy to think that Temple is on the brink of consecutive division championships in football, but all the Owls need to do is take care of business against conference bottom-dwellers Tulane and ECU to make a second consecutive conference championship game.)

AAC WestNavy (This week’s battle between division leaders Tulsa and Navy will go along way in deciding who wins the AAC West, and even though Tulsa is favored, I’m giving the Midshipmen the advantage since they’re playing at home.  Houston and Memphis are also in the mix but needs to win out and have both of those squads drop one of their remaining games.  This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Midshipmen, but this team continues to overperform year in and year out under Niumatalolo.)

C-USA EastWestern Kentucky (The Hilltoppers should be able to defend their division crown this season by taking care of business against both North Texas and Marshall in their remaining two games  In fact, if ODU loses to Southern Miss this Saturday, then WKU can clinch with a win over the Mean Green this weekend.)

C-USA WestSouthern Miss (Louisiana Tech currently has a one game lead in the division standings over UTSA and Southern Miss, but LA Tech has to play both of those teams in their final two games of the season.  I believe they will split those matchups by beating UTSA and losing to Southern Miss, and the Golden Eagles will win out to repeat as division champs.)

MAC EastOhio (The Bobcats have a de facto two game lead in the division standings by virtue of their head-to-head win over Miami-OH.  As a result, Ohio just needs to beat either Central Michigan or Akron in their final two games to get a berth in the MAC Title Game and have a shot to win their first conference championship game since 1968.  A feat I predicted them to achieve in my preseason predictions)

MAC WestWestern Michigan (As long as Toledo takes care of business next weekend against Ball State, their will be a de facto division title game in the final week of the regular season between the Broncos and Rockets.  Western Michigan will have a distinct advantage their playing at home with the more talented roster.)

MWC MountainBoise State (The Wyoming Cowboys shockingly have a one game lead in this division at the present time, but a brutal remaining schedule calls for me to pick them to drop two of their remaining games, vs. San Diego State and at New Mexico.  The Lobos of New Mexico would also have to drop another game for Boise to win this division, but with consecutive road tests against Utah State and Colorado State on the horizon, I think New Mexico will do just that.)

MWC WestSan Diego State (The Aztecs are the first and only team in the country to clinch a division/conference championship so far in 2016.)

Sun BeltTroy (There is currently a three-way tie atop the Sun Belt Standings between Troy, Arkansas State, and Appalachian State.  This Saturday’s epic matchup between Troy and Appalachian State will go a long way in deciding who wins the Sun Belt Championship, but even if the Trojans win that one, they have to face Arkansas State the following week.  However, both of those games are in Troy,  so I’m predicting the Trojans to find a way to win them and become this year’s surprise Sun Belt Champion.)