Welcome to this week’s Good news bad new5 column. The list of teams that are yet to have their postseason fate determined is dwindling…unless you play in Conference USA.
There are 12 teams in the Group of Five conferences who can make a bowl with a win this weekend, five of those 12 are in CUSA. I wouldn’t necessarily say it is a case of mediocrity running rampant throughout the conference. Rather a perfect storm of teams that started off slow catching fire at the right time (like Old Dominion and North Texas) and teams that started off well fading (like Florida Atlantic and Charlotte). Thanks to UTSA and Western Kentucky, the conference has been entertaining all year long, whether you have been able to watch the games or not. This weekend promises to be no different. Unfortunately, unless you have ESPN+, you make just have to take my word for it.

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

Memphis (5-6)
Remaining game: Tulane

The Tigers have lost 3 of 4 games, including getting thumped 31-13 by Houston Friday night. I would say “luckily” they are at home for this finale, but two weeks ago Memphis lost in overtime to East Carolina, so that home field advantage hasn’t been working out so well for them lately. I would also say “luckily” they are facing 2-9 Tulane, but the Green Wave just won 45-14 and have never had a problem putting up points. (Just ask Oklahoma.) If that team shows up to Memphis, they can leave ruining the Tigers bowl hopes.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Tulsa (5-6)
Remaining Game: at SMU

Confession time: I’ve watched Tulsa only once this year, and it was their game against Navy where the Midshipmen won without passing the ball, so I’m not real sure how Tulsa is on bowl position. On the surface, I would think the Mustangs would be able to win this comfortably, but there is the possibility that they are catching SMU at the right time. After getting handled by Cincinnati 48-14 Saturday, the Mustangs are out of the running for the AAC Championship and comfortably in bowl position. This could be the final home game for Sonny Dykes, who is a hot coaching name. I have been Ponying Up all season, so I feel like they have one more offensive display in them.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

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

Florida Atlantic (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: Middle Tennessee

In one of two win-and-in games in the conference, Florida Atlantic hosts Middle Tennessee. The Owls have lost three in a row, which is a far cry from the team that beat UTEP on Halloween and looked poised to be a contender for the East Division. If both teams play to their potential, I think the Owls are a better team. Plus they are playing at home. Give them the advantage.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Charlotte (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: at Old Dominion

Two teams going in completely opposite directions face each other in Norfolk. Charlotte has lost 4 of 5 games, while the Monarchs have won four in a row. I know there is no such thing as easy money, but unless the pressure of expectations affects ODU, there is no reason to believe that Charlotte will find a way to win.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Middle Tennessee (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: at Florida Atlantic

Middle Tennessee appears to be one of those teams who beats the bad teams but not the ones at or above them in the CUSA hierarchy. Four of their 5 wins are against Southern Miss, Florida International, UConn and Monmouth. They did get a win over Marshall, which is not nothing. Maybe they are catching a struggling FAU at the right time. I just don’t think they are a bowl team.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

Old Dominion (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: Charlotte

Basically, see Charlotte. Old Dominion is on fire right now and hosting this game gives me every reason to believe the Monarchs will win their fifth straight and miraculously become bowl eligible.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

North Texas (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: UTSA

Much like Old Dominion, the Mean Green have come from out of nowhere to win four in a row and could actually tie UAB for second in the West Division if they win and the Blazers lose to UTEP. All North Texas has to do is beat… *checks schedule*… yikes.
UTSA.
MAYBE UTSA lets down after a dramatic win against UAB last weekend. MAYBE the pressure of going undefeated proves to be too much and the Roadrunners come out flat against a hot UNT team. Or maybe, America’s Team continues the roll they have been on all year long.
I think North Texas can keep this close, but *Sad meep meep*.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

MAC
Bowl Eligible: Northern Illinois, Eastern Michigan, Kent St., Miami (OH), Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Toledo
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: Ohio, Akron
, Bowling Green, Buffalo

Ball St. (5-6)
Remaining Games: Buffalo

The Cardinals are stumbling to the finish, losing two in a row. Luckily for them, the Bulls have lost three in a row and have nothing to play for. While some people may say that this is Buffalo’s bowl game, I say….doesn’t mean they still can’t lose.
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Mountain West
Bowl Eligible: San Diego St., Utah St., Nevada, Fresno St., Air Force, Boise St., Wyoming
Eliminated from Bowl Eligibility: UNLV
, Colorado St., New Mexico

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

Thanks to a bye week last week, nothing changed for the Spartans. Beat Fresno St. at home, go to a bowl. I have not been as high on Fresno St. as most people so I still think that defending conference champ San Jose St. can find a way to win on Nick Starkel’s senior night in what could be a fun shootout. (He is finally out of eligibility right?)
Bowl or No Bowl: Bowl

Hawaii (5-7)
Remaining Schedule: at Wyoming

This might be the team I am most surprised is bowl eligible. The Warriors won a wild game 50-45 over Colorado St. Saturday night…uh, I mean Sunday morning. They can get their sixth win this weekend against Wyoming, who became bowl eligible after beating Utah St. 44-17 in one of the more surprising outcomes of the weekend. I think the Cowboys found something offensively to put away Hawaii in Laramie.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

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

Troy (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: at Georgia St.

Curiously, the Troy Trojans fired Chip Lindsay after their 45-7 loss to App St. Saturday. Sure, that loss doesn’t look good, but the Trojans still have a reasonable chance of making a bowl. And I get that firing coaches before the season ends is all the rage these days, but I don’t think Troy is going to find their guy within the week. Let Lindsay play out the string. Regardless, Troy has a game remaining, at suddenly hot Georgia St. needing a win. The Panthers have nothing really to play for. Unfortunately, the Trojans don’t have anyone to tell them they do.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

South Alabama (5-6)
Remaining Schedule: Coastal Carolina

South Alabama has given up 122 points in 3 games! Now they play Coastal Carolina, needing a win to get into a bowl. That’s asking a lot. They could win a shootout I suppose, but that feels like it is asking a lot.
Bowl or No Bowl: No Bowl

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