Welcome to this week’s Good news bad new5 column. I got some good feedback on last week’s format, so I figure I would roll with the format. First things first though: A formal apology to East Carolina fans (of which I assume exist). I gave the Pirates no chance of winning any of their three remaining games and getting to a bowl bid. Sure enough, they found a way to go on the road and beat a Memphis team that rarely loses in the Liberty Bowl. The Pirates won 30-29 in overtime, after stopping the Tigers on a two-point conversion attempt. At 6-4 and with games at Navy and at home against Cincinnati, ECU is playing with house money going into their final two games. Congratulations East Carolina, enjoy the Military Bowl or whatever.

AAC
Bowl Eligible: Cincinnati, Houston, SMU, UCF, East Carolina
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: Tulane, Navy, South Florida
, Temple

Memphis (5-5)
Remaining games: at Houston, Tulane

Well, well, well, how the turntables have turned.
A week ago after beating the SMU Mustangs at home and sitting at 5-4, bowl eligibility seemed all but a certainty. Then Saturday’s heartbreak happened. How the Tigers sit at 5-5 and head to Houston to take on a Cougar team that hasn’t lost since Week One. A home game against Tulane still sits on their schedule, which makes 6 victories all but a certainty, but I think this Tiger team had higher expectations when their conference schedule began.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Tulsa (4-6)
Remaining Games: Temple, at SMU

The Golden Hurricane sure didn’t earn any style points beating Tulane 20-13 in overtime Saturday, but they did what they needed to do to get to six wins. Sitting at 4-6, they still need to win out, and next week’s game at home against Temple is a game they should win, but they still finish their season in Dallas against SMU. And after seeing that offense shred UCF Saturday, I don’t trust Tulsa to be able to hang offensively.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl


Conference USA
Bowl Eligible: UTSA, UAB, UTEP, Marshall
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: Florida International, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss

Florida Atlantic (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: at Western Kentucky, Middle Tennessee

Despite being comfortable a couple weeks ago at 5-3 after beating UTEP, the Owls might actually be in danger of missing a bowl. They are playing well enough, but are catching teams that are hot at the wrong time. They’ve lost to Marshall and Old Dominion the last two weeks, two teams no one wants to play. Now they travel to Bowling Green to take on sizzling Western Kentucky. They end the season hosting Middle Tennessee in a game both teams may need to win. I think they still get to 6-6, but wouldn’t bet my life on it.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Charlotte (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: Marshall, at Old Dominion

Much like FAU, a couple weeks ago Charlotte looked comfortable to make a bowl. Now, they are fading while other teams are catching fire. Losing last week at Louisiana Tech took away their margin for error. Now they host Marshall in a game that would behoove of them to win because they (like FAU) also look like they may have a winner-take-all finale.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Middle Tennessee (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: Old Dominion, at Florida Atlantic

A glass half full person would note that Middle Tennessee is winners of three of their last four. The glass half empty person would note that those wins are against UCONN, Southern Miss and Florida International. Their remaining schedule gets significantly tougher, as they face white-hot Old Dominion this week and finish their season at Florida Atlantic. Not everyone can get to six wins, I think this is the team that gets squeezed out.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Old Dominion (4-6)
Remaining Schedule: at Middle Tennessee, Charlotte

Winners of three straight, ODU is playing as well as anyone outside the cities of San Antonio and Birmingham. Unfortunately, they need to win both their remaining games to earn a bowl bid. Certainly not impossible, as they play two beatable middle-of-the-pack teams. I want to ride the Monarch wave, so I’m gonna. By the way, who knew that their one-point loss to Buffalo in September would affect both teams bowl chances?
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

North Texas (4-6)
Remaining Schedule: at Florida International, UTSA

If ODU is not the hottest team in CUSA, it’s North Texas. Also winners of three in a row, the Mean Green are sitting at 4-6 travelling to FIU to take on a Panther team that just fired their coach and have likely phoned in the season. Unfortunately, North Texas still ends their season against UTSA, who will need the game for either an undefeated regular season or to stay in the division race (should they lose to UAB this week). I like the 4-6 teams better than the 5-5 teams in this conference at this point, but they can’t all get in.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl


MAC
Bowl Eligible: Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: Ohio, Akron


Kent St. (5-5)
Remaining Games: at Akron, Miami (OH)

Kent St. had a cushion before getting smoked by Central Michigan last week. They still have a game this week against Akron, but they better win that very winnable game. Because their finale against Miami (OH) could be both for bowl eligibility AND the division title.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Ball St. (5-5)
Remaining Games: Central Michigan, Buffalo

The Cardinals are a missed Northern Illinois field goal away from already being bowl eligible. They came up one point short, losing 30-29 last week. Having said that, the Cardinals are still in pretty good position to get to a bowl. They have two bowl games remaining against Central Michigan and fading Buffalo. If they can’t win one of those, they have no one to blame but themselves.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Miami (OH) (5-5)
Remaining Games: Bowling Green, at Kent St.

Winners of 3 of their last 4, Miami (OH) qualifies as one of the hottest teams in the MAC. After beating Buffalo 45-18 last week, they head into this week needing to only beat Bowling Green to be bowl eligible. Stranger things have happened, but their chances for a bowl improved probably more than anyone in the conference.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Toledo (5-5)
Remaining Games: at Ohio, Akron

The Rockets probably looked the best of all teams last week, beating Bowling Green 49-17 last Wednesday. It was a game they needed, as they now sit at 5-5, giving themselves a bit of a cushion against MAC bottom feeders Ohio and Akron. Count on them to get at least one.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Buffalo (4-6)
Remaining Games: Northern Illinois, at Ball St.

The Bulls are fading fast. They have lost their last two and looked pretty bad in doing so. They need to beat both Northern Illinois and Ball St. to get bowl eligibility. I don’t see it.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl


Mountain West
Bowl Eligible: San Diego St., Utah St., Nevada, Fresno St., Air Force
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: UNLV

Wyoming (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: at Utah St., Hawaii

Did you know that Wyoming is last place in the Mountain Division? Behind New Mexico?!? (Technically tied with the Lobos, but they lost to them so…) Having said that, thanks to their strong non-conference performance, the Cowboys and become bowl eligible by winning one of their final two games. Winning at Utah St. still seems unlikely, but beating Hawaii in the finale in Laramie is about as winnable a game as the Cowboys can ask for.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

San Jose St. (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: Fresno St.

The Spartans have one game left, on Thanksgiving against Fresno St. What a weird schedule. Anyway, they have to win the game after getting throttled by Utah St. 48-17 Saturday. A lack of consistency has defined San Jose St., but the good news is that Nick Starkel is back at quarterback. One would think he can find last year’s magic one time to beat a Fresno St. team that is getting a lot of mileage out of almost beating Oregon (something California can also say).
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Hawaii (4-7)
Remaining Schedule: Colorado St., at Wyoming

How is a 4-7 record still give a team a chance at a bowl you ask? Well….basically, because Hawaii. They play a 13 game season and are able to qualify by getting six wins even if that means seven losses. So, having said that, beating Colorado St. and Wyoming gets them to six wins. Are they good enough to win both? Probably not. But it’s still technically possible. I’m probably the only person on Planet Earth who likes Todd Graham outside of his family, but the Warriors are hanging by a thread.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Sun Belt
Bowl Eligible: Louisiana, Coastal Carolina, Appalachian St.
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: Georgia Southern, Arkansas St.

Troy (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: Appalachian St., at Georgia St.

Troy is one of the toughest teams for me to get a read on. They beat the bad teams and play good teams hard but don’t come out on the winning end. As a result, they are a very mediocre 5-5. This week they play a good team in Appalachian St. (which likely means a close loss) and finish the season at equally mediocre Georgia St. in a game where anything could happen. Gut instinct but…
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

South Alabama (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: at Tennessee, Coastal Carolina

South Alabama is one of two teams (along with UL Monroe) who can help their chances at a bowl by going to an SEC school this week and winning. Much easier said than done for both schools. However at 5-5, USA has a bit more of a cushion, if they lose at Neyland Stadium they end their season needing a win against a Coastal Carolina team that doesn’t look as daunting as they did a month ago.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Georgia St. (5-5)
Remaining Schedule: Arkansas St., Troy

One of the better wins this past weekend was Georgia St.’s 42-40 win over Coastal Carolina. That puts the Panthers needing only one win of their final two, both home games against lowly (but dangerous) Arkansas St. and Troy. A win this weekend puts them in a bowl and take pressure off for that finale.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

UL Monroe (4-6)
Remaining Schedule: at LSU, at Louisiana

Oh sweet precious Warhawks, you had but one job last weekend. Beat hapless Arkansas St. If they would have done so, we are looking at a 5-5 team who could conceivably put fear in LSU this weekend. Unfortunately, they lost 27-24 and now appear to be a team fading down the stretch. While they will at worst improve upon last year’s team by four wins, getting to six would require a miracle of epic proportions.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

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