Nov 16, 2012, 1:44 PM EDT
After Temple lost to Cincinnati last weekend, and announced this past Tuesday that it would not be scheduling a 12th opponent this season, all hope officially ended for the Owls to get bowl eligible for the fourth season in a row.
But is there a chance they could still play in a bowl game? The answer is yes — a very slim one — so long as Temple wins both of its remaining games and enough of the teams below fail to get to six wins.
You can read all the details as to why it’s possible for the Owls to get in a bowl game in the following dashed-off section, or you can ignore all of it and skip ahead to the list of teams you’ll need to root against.
To get bowl eligible, teams need to finish at least 6-6 or, if there aren’t enough who did, finish 5-7 and have a Top 5 academic progress rating. None of the schools who have a Top 5 rating — Northwestern, Duke, Boise State, Ohio State and Northern Illinois — can or will need to exercise that option.
That means, if 70 teams fail to reach .500, the NCAA will have to begin selecting teams with losing records. And if Temple can win its next two games to get to 5-6, it would have a slightly better record than all those other 5-7 teams that would be left.
Regardless, for Temple to play in a bowl, it has to win out and hope that there are not enough bowl eligible teams to fill all 70 slots.
There are 124 total FBS teams counting the four “in transition.” At present, 56 teams of the necessary 70 are eligible. Three teams — Penn State, Ohio State and North Carolina — are sanctioned from participating in a bowl game. Twenty-nine teams, excluding Temple, are ineligible given their record and one other (Texas-San Antonio) due to its schedule.
That leaves 34 teams who could still qualify for the final 13 spots.
Why only 13 spots if only 56 teams are eligible? Because two 5-5 teams will play each other this weekend, guaranteeing one will win.
Alright, so who do you need to root against? There are 14 teams who, with a win this weekend, will become eligible.
UPDATES: I’ll be updating this throughout the day. If a team gets eligible, I’ll bold the name, update its record, and adjust the totals below. If a team loses, I’ll strikethrough its name and do likewise. Totals as of 1:24 a.m.:
Total bowl spots filled: 63
Total remaining: 7
Teams still in play: 15
One of the two games mentioned above — in the section you probably skipped — between 5-5 teams (Syracuse vs. Missouri and West Virginia vs. Iowa St.) takes place this weekend. So you can root against one of these two if you like, but this game is off the board:
Syracuse (6-5) 31,
Next on the list in 5-4 teams who still have three games remaining.
West Virginia(5-5) 49, No. 12 Oklahoma 50
Louisiana-Lafayette (6-4) 31, Western Kentucky 27
Next, the 5-5 teams with two games remaining:
Iowa State (6-5) 51, Kansas 23
Wake Forest(5-6) 0, No. 3 Notre Dame 38
Miami (FL) (6-5) 40, South Florida 9
Georgia Tech (6-5) 42, Duke 24
Michigan State(5-6) 20, Northwestern 23 SMU(5-6) 14 at Rice, 36
Air Force (6-5) 21, Hawaii 7
Arizona State (6-5) 46, Washington State 7
Ole Miss(5-5) 41, No. 7 LSU 35 Troy(5-6) 34, Arkansas State 41
Finally, there are the 13 other teams who could still become eligible if they win all their remaining games:
Virginia Tech (5-6)
Central Michigan (5-6)
Teams who lost and can no longer become eligible:
Miami (OH) (4-7)
North Texas (4-7)
South Florida (3-7)
Texas State (3-7)
Once again, all this has to break right in addition to Temple winning its final two games.
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