US LBM Coaches Poll Week 12
USA TODAY’s Paul Myerberg breaks down this week’s US LBM Coaches Poll and discusses how the College Football Playoff Selection Committee should consider Washington for the number four spot.
There are also the races at the bottom of the bowl picture as teams fight to extend their seasons. And that plays out with teams fighting to gain the necessary six wins to become eligible.
It’s a complex puzzle to sort out through the first 12 weeks. However, what was once fuzzy throughout the season has become clearer entering the final games for most of the teams hoping to become bowl-eligible.
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How many available bowl spots are remaining?
The are 41 bowl games this postseason, which does not include the College Football Playoff championship game. That means 82 teams in the Bowl Subdivision must finish with six or more wins to fill all the spots.
Here’s the current situation involving the 130 teams eligible to play in the postseason.
► 67 teams have at least six wins.
► 39 teams cannot reach six wins.
► That leaves 24 teams capable of grabbing one of the 15 remaining spots.
The games that will decide who is bowl-eligible
In an interesting wrinkle to things, none of the 24 teams still capable of earning a bowl game play each other. That means there are two dozen matchups on the Week 13 schedule will play a role in what postseason picture looks like.
Tuesday, Nov. 21
Eastern Michigan (5-6) at Buffalo, ESPN2, 7:30 p.m. ET
Thursday, Nov. 23
Mississippi at Mississippi State (5-6), ESPN, 7:30 p.m. ET
Friday, Nov. 24
Nebraska (5-6) vs. Iowa, CBS, noon ET
TCU (5-6) at Oklahoma, Fox, noon ET
Toledo at Central Michigan (5-6), ESPNU, noon ET
Utah State (5-6) at New Mexico, CBSSN, 3:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, Nov. 25
Houston at Central Florida (5-6), FS1, noon ET
Navy* (5-5) at SMU, ESPN2, noon ET
Northern Illinois (5-6) at Kent State, noon ET
Florida Atlantic at Rice (5-6), 1 p.m. ET
Georgia State at Old Dominion (5-6), 2 p.m. ET
Wake Forest at Syracuse (5-6), CW, 2 p.m. ET
Louisiana-Monroe at Louisiana-Lafayette (5-6), 3 p.m. ET
Arkansas State at Marshall (5-6), 3:30 p.m. ET
Brigham Young (5-6) at Oklahoma State, ABC, 3::30 p.m. ET
Illinois (5-6) at Northwestern, Big Ten, 3:30 p.m. ET
Virginia Tech (5-6) at Virginia, ACC, 3:30 p.m. ET
Wisconsin at Minnesota (5-6), FS1, 3:30 p.m. ET
Washington State (5-6) at Washington, Fox, 4 p.m. ET
Florida State at Florida (5-6), ESPN, 7 p.m. ET
Charlotte at South Florida (5-6), ESPNU, 7:30 p.m. ET
Clemson at South Carolina (5-6), SEC, 7:30 p.m. ET
California (5-6) at UCLA, ESPN, 10:30 p.m. ET
Colorado State (5-6) at Hawaii, 11 p.m. ET
* Navy will play Army on Dec. 9. That game comes six days after the bowl matchups are set, so they must win Saturday to be included on the bowl schedule.
What happens if there are not enough six-win teams for all the bowls?
Given that several teams are playing ranked opponents and others are big underdogs, it seems likely that there will be vacant spots to fill.
NCAA rules state that teams during the transition process from the Championship Subdivision to the Bowl Subdivision can fill available openings if they win six games. James Madison and Jacksonville State have 10 and eight victories, respectively, and will be next in line should there be enough losses among the five-wins team this weekend.
What about if there are more spots to fill after James Madison and Jacksonville State are added? Available spots will be allocated to five-win teams based on the APR scores reported for the 2021-22 academic year.
Here are the schools with the highest APR scores that have already achieved five wins or could reach five wins this season.
Minnesota — 992
Wake Forest (must beat Syracuse to get five wins) — 992
Rice — 987
Mississippi State — 985
Central Florida — 984
South Carolina — 983
Michigan State (must beat Penn State to get five wins) — 982
Ball State (must beat Miami (Ohio) to get five wins) — 980
What teams are bowl-eligible or already out?
Note: A team out cannot reach five wins and qualify by APR.
In: Tulane, SMU, Texas-San Antonio, Memphis.
Out: Charlotte, Temple, Tulsa, East Carolina.
In: Florida State, Louisville, North Carolina State, North Carolina, Clemson, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.),
Out: Pittsburgh, Virginia.
In: Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Kansas, West Virginia, Iowa State, Texas Tech.
Out: Baylor, Cincinnati.
In: Michigan, Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, Maryland, Northwestern, Rutgers, Wisconsin.
Out: Indiana, Purdue.
In: Liberty, New Mexico State, Western Kentucky.
Out: Louisiana Tech, Texas-El Paso.
In: Notre Dame.
Out: Army (has two FCS wins), Connecticut, Massachusetts.
In: Toledo, Miami (Ohio), Ohio, Bowling Green.
Out: Akron, Buffalo, Kent State.
In: UNLV, Air Force, Fresno State, Wyoming, Boise State, San Jose State
Out: Hawaii, Nevada, San Diego State.
In: Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Oregon State, Southern California, UCLA, Utah.
Out: Arizona State, Colorado, Stanford.
In: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, LSU, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Auburn, Kentucky.
In: Troy, Appalachian State, Coastal Carolina, Arkansas State, Georgia Southern, Georgia State, South Alabama, Texas State.
Out: Louisiana-Monroe, Southern Mississippi.