Bowl Eligibility Watch: Eastern Michigan breaks through
Eastern Michigan reached a major milestone in its remarkable turnaround.
The Eagles are bowl eligible for the first time since 1995 after a 48-41 victory over Ball State on Tuesday night. The last time EMU actually played in a bowl was in the 1987 California Bowl.
There are now 58 teams bowl eligible, with 80 slots available. There are 32 teams that can't finish .500 and thus can't go to a bowl unless sub-.500 teams are needed to fill open spots.
Oregon (3-7) is one of those teams that can't finish .500 after a loss to Stanford. The Ducks haven't missed a bowl since 2004.
EMU (6-4) went 1-11 last season, and in April, a student and faculty report called on the school to consider dropping football altogether - or perhaps stop playing it in Division I. The Eagles were one of a couple noteworthy teams to become bowl eligible this past week. Central Florida (6-4) also did - a significant achievement after UCF went 0-12 last season.
Army (5-5) can still finish two games above .500 but is in a complicated spot. The Black Knights have two games against FCS opponents on their schedule - a win over Lafayette on Oct. 15 and next weekend's matchup with Morgan State. Team spokesman Matt Faulkner said only the Morgan State game can count for the purpose of bowl eligibility.
Army's regular-season finale against Navy will likely be moot in terms of Army's bowl prospects, since it takes place Dec. 10, after bowl matchups will likely be set. Faulkner said if Army beats Morgan State, the Black Knights would have to wait and see if there are any open spots - a situation similar to what 5-7 teams will face.
Here are the 37 teams (not counting Army) that are still on the bubble. These teams aren't bowl eligible yet, but they can still finish .500 or better and move into the bowl picture:
Arizona State (5-5)
Arkansas State (5-4)
Ball State (4-6)
Boston College (4-6)
Central Michigan (5-5)
Colorado State (5-5)
Georgia Southern (4-6)
Kansas State (5-4)
Miami, Ohio (5-6)
Mississippi State (4-6)
North Carolina State (5-5)
North Texas (4-6)
Notre Dame (4-6)
South Alabama (4-5)
South Carolina (5-5)
Southern Methodist (5-5)
Southern Mississippi (5-5)
Texas Tech (4-6)
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