Bowl Eligibility Watch: Still plenty of spots left to fill
Here's some good news for all those teams that might finish 5-7 in the regular season: A few of them will probably play on.
For a second straight season, it looks like sub-.500 teams will be needed to fill all the bowl slots.
There are 64 teams that are now bowl eligible, leaving 16 more spots to fill. But only 18 bubble teams are left, so unless a very high number of them reach six wins, bowls will have to look at 5-7 teams. Those teams are prioritized according to the most recent Academic Progress Report scores.
Kentucky (6-5) is one of a handful of teams that become bowl eligible this past week. The Wildcats beat Austin Peay 49-13 to become bowl eligible for the first time since the 2010 season.
Army (6-5) routed Morgan State 60-3, but the Black Knights aren't bowl eligible yet because one of their wins over an FCS opponent doesn't count for eligibility purposes. Army has one more regular-season game, Dec. 10 against Navy, but by then, bowl matchups will likely be set. So for now, the Black Knights are in a situation similar to what 5-7 teams will face - they're waiting to see if there are any open spots.
The road ahead for the 18 teams - not counting Army - that can still become bowl eligible:
Akron (5-6): At Ohio on Tuesday.
Arizona State (5-6): At Arizona on Friday.
Boston College (5-6): At Wake Forest on Saturday.
Indiana (5-6): Hosts Purdue on Saturday.
Louisiana-Lafayette (4-6): Hosts Arkansas State on Saturday, at Louisiana-Monroe on Dec. 3.
Maryland (5-6): Hosts Rutgers on Saturday.
Miami (Ohio) (5-6): Hosts Ball State on Tuesday. (Miami started the season 0-6 but has won five straight in a remarkable turnaround.)
Mississippi (5-6): Hosts Mississippi State on Saturday.
N.C. State (5-6): At North Carolina on Friday.
North Texas (5-6): At Texas-El Paso on Saturday.
Northwestern (5-6): Hosts Illinois on Saturday.
SMU (5-6): Hosts Navy on Saturday.
South Alabama (5-5): At Idaho on Saturday, hosts New Mexico State on Dec. 3. (The Jaguars have two victories over FCS teams. The second of those wins - against Presbyterian on Saturday - was scheduled because South Alabama's game against LSU that day was canceled when LSU needed to reschedule its game against Florida. South Alabama has received a waiver to count both FCS wins toward bowl eligibility. If the Jaguars finish 6-6, they would be placed ahead of the 5-7 teams on the priority list - but behind teams that achieved bowl eligibility by reaching six victories.)
Southern Miss (5-6): Hosts Louisiana Tech on Friday.
TCU (5-5): At Texas on Friday, hosts Kansas State on Dec. 3.
Texas (5-6): Hosts TCU on Friday.
UTSA (5-6): Hosts Charlotte on Saturday.
Vanderbilt (5-6): Hosts Tennessee on Saturday.
More AP college football: www.collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25 .
Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister