Sep. 23, 2016
Where Everybody Stacks Up Heading into Final Week
Okay, so I am going to do a complete list of where everybody stands right now, and I mean everybody, as far as making bowl games or not. I'm also going to do my projected conference champions, and project on which five wins teams will get that magic win number six and be in a bowl game too. Here it is.
AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE
IN: South Florida, Temple, UCF, Navy, Houston, Tulsa, Memphis
STILL CAN: SMU
OUT: Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Tulane
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: NAVY over Temple
So, I think that everybody in the AAC that should win will win, including South Florida, Temple and Navy. Due to that, and with Navy playing SMU, I believe that SMU's chances of going from 0-12 to a bowl game in just a few seasons is very slim. Even with a Navy loss, they will go to the championship game, since they have the tiebreaker over Houston. Meanwhile, Temple won the head-to-head tiebreaker over South Florida, and Temple has the easier game anyways. Since Navy beat what was supposed to be the best team in the conference, I think they will be able to handle Temple and win the AAC.
ATLANTIC COASTAL CONFERENCE
IN: Clemson, Louisville, Florida State, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, Miami, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech
STILL CAN: NC State, Boston College
OUT: Syracuse, Duke, Virginia
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: CLEMSON over Virginia Tech
The ACC has a potential of having 11 teams in bowl games this December, although I believe that is a bigger statement of parity instead of having truly great teams. Most of these bowl eligible teams wouldn't have this stature if they were in the Pac-12, Big Ten or SEC, and I just believe that this is truly just Clemson's conference. Boston College has the better opportunity to make the postseason than NC State, as they play at Wake Forest and at North Carolina, respectively. In this league, anything can happen any weak, but I'm going to assume that Boston College gets in, and NC State does not. Virginia Tech will beat the lowly Virginia to make the ACC Championship, only to get stomped by Clemson.
IN: Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa
STILL CAN: Maryland, Indiana, Northwestern
OUT: Michigan State, Rutgers, Illinois, Purdue
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: WISCONSIN over Penn State
I think that this conference, should Washington and Clemson win out, is the one that will screw up the committee and cause a lot of drama in the media. That said, I think Wisconsin and Penn State will take care of business at home, and Ohio State will defeat a Michigan team that is without its' starting QB on the road. That will cause a Penn State-Wisconsin championship, where I believe the Badgers have the edge. The three five win teams also are fortunate, as they all play teams that are out of the running, and play them at home. The Big Ten gets 10 teams in.
IN: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Baylor
STILL CAN: TCU, Texas
OUT: Texas Tech, Kansas, Iowa State
CONFERENCE CHAMPION: OKLAHOMA
This conference essentially has a conference championship game in Oklahoma, where the Sooners play Oklahoma State at home. I think Oklahoma has been too good recently, and will be able to defeat the Cowboys and win the Big 12. As far as TCU and Texas are concerned, they play each other in Texas, then TCU hosts Kansas State. I'm going to assume with all of the Charlie Strong issues at Texas that they don't win that game, fall out of the bowl picture, and TCU will probably win both of their remaining games, to get six in from the Big 12.
IN: Old Dominion, Western Kentucky, Mid Tenn State, Louisiana Tech
STILL CAN: UTSA, North Texas, Southern Miss
OUT: Charlotte, FIU, FAU, Marshall, Rice, UTEP
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: LOUISIANA TECH over Western Kentucky
I'm not going to lie, I haven't watched any of these teams play, but from what I have heard Louisiana Tech is the best team in the Conference USA. They are sealed in from the west division, and are going to be playing Western Kentucky if they can win at 3-8 Marshall, which I believe they will. Southern Miss is unfortunate enough to play Louisiana Tech, so they are out, but UTSA plays a home game against Charlotte, and North Texas has a road game against UTEP. I'm going with one in and one out here, and I'll go with the game at home for UTSA, and they will be the fifth C-USA team in the bowl games.
IN: BYU, Army
OUT: Notre Dame, Massachusetts
It's pretty clear who is in and out here, as there is no champion, and both are already defined. Notre Dame essentially has its' own bowl game at USC though, and a chance for a major upset.
IN: Ohio, Miami (Ohio), Western Michigan, Toledo, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan
OUT: Bowling Green, Kent State, Buffalo, Northern Illinois, Ball State, Akron
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: WESTERN MICHIGAN over Ohio
Western Michigan is going to be 13-0 going into a bowl game, and have a chance at an at-large bid in one of the New Year's Six Bowls. Should Toledo find a way to win, it would completely ruin the Broncos' season, and kick them out of the conference championship and likely the bowl games. However, it is a home game, and I believe Western Michigan will be the only undefeated team at the end of the season. (I know that Alabama is the other)
IN: Boise State, Wyoming, New Mexico, Air Force, Colorado State, San Diego State
OUT: Utah State, Hawaii, UNLV, Nevada, San Jose State, Fresno State
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: WYOMING over San Diego State
This is another one that is already defined as far as bowl games go, but the Mountain West Mountain division is still up for grabs. San Diego State is the only bowl team from the West division, but a lot can change in the Mountain. For one, division leaders Wyoming and Boise State (Wyoming owns tiebreaker) have road games at New Mexico and Air Force. I think both are capable of winning, but Air Force is the better team as well, so if one were to lose, it would be Boise at Air Force. Should they both lose, it's Wyoming. Should they both win, it's Wyoming. If you can't tell, the odds are in the favor of the Cowboys.
IN: Washington, Washington State, Stanford, Colorado, USC, Utah
STILL CAN: Arizona State
OUT: California, Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Arizona
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: COLORADO over Washington State
Arizona has not yet won in the Pac-12, and I don't think they will beat Arizona State, so the Sun Devils will be bowl eligible this season. I'm assuming you all are more confused about the championship, which is without Washington. I believe that the Washington State Cougars will beat Washington in Washington State. Colorado will beat Utah in Colorado, and then Colorado will beat the Cougars. I just think that this Washington State offense is really good, and that the Huskies were way too far out of the playoff picture at the beginning of the season to not have another slip up happen. I don't believe in them at this point.
IN: Alabama, Auburn, Texas A&M, LSU, Arkansas, Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, Kentucky, South Carolina
STILL CAN: Vanderbilt, Ole Miss
OUT: Missouri, Mississippi State
CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP: ALABAMA over Florida
The championship game is already settled, and nobody has shown any signs of beating Alabama, and I don't think that can change until possibly the playoff. I also think that Ole Miss being at home will help them win a sixth game and make a bowl, especially since they play one of the two worst teams, Mississippi State. As far as Vanderbilt is concerned, they have Tennessee, and I don't think that's a win. Not a lot of drama in this conference anymore.
IN: Arkansas State, Appalachian State, Troy, Idaho
STILL CAN: South Alabama
OUT: UL Lafayette, Georgia Southern, UL Monroe, Georgia State, New Mexico State, Texas State
CONFERENCE CHAMPION: ARKANSAS STATE
There are a couple weeks left to decide who in this conference will beat whom, as Appalachian State and Troy are both still alive to chase Arkansas State. However, with a home game with UL Monroe and a road game at Texas State, I think it is safe to say that Arkansas State should win both games. As far as South Alabama is concerned, they should be able to win a home game against New Mexico State and make the bowls. They have some impressive non-conference wins, including San Diego State (9-2) and Mississippi State (SEC), but are also 1-5 in conference.
That's who I believe will and will not make the bowls, it's going to be a fun weekend sorting all of this out.