clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Can a 5-Win Vanderbilt Go Bowling?

New, comments

Much like a truck, a ticking clock, and Olaf's love, the NCAA has gone berserk with adding bowl games. 80 teams need to reach six wins. Could Vanderbilt profit from this?

Will this run, in front of a crowd rivaling Watertown High School's, matter in December?
Will this run, in front of a crowd rivaling Watertown High School's, matter in December?
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

Let's be honest, some D-level bowl being forced to take a 5-win team would be hilarious.  It just would.  I hope for this to happen every year, and I'm always disappointed.  But this year is a little different -- Conference USA and the MAC seem to be a bit down, the Sun Belt is a house fire, and there are more bowls than ever.

If 80 teams don't hit six wins, someone else has to benefit by getting four extra weeks of practice, so why not Vanderbilt?  Right?  RIGHT?  Right.

Once all the 6-win teams are taken, bowls must take the 5-win teams in order of Academic Progress Rate.  Most of the teams ahead of Vandy are very likely to go bowling.  Only Utah State (3-2) and Nebraska (2-4) are in the way.

So, can 80 teams find their way to six wins?  Let's take a glance across the FBS, broken down by conference.

American Athletic Conference

  • We Skrong: Houston, Memphis, Navy, Temple (4)
  • Nope: Central Florida, SMU
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Cincinnati

3-2

UConn, UCF, Tulsa

at South Florida

at BYU, at ECU

at Houston

In

Tulsa

3-2

UCF

at SMU, at Tulane


at ECU, Memphis,
at Cincy, Navy

In (giving them Tulane, but it's a toss-up game)

Connecticut

3-3


USF, at Tulane

ECU

at Cincy, Houston,
at Temple

Out

East Carolina

3-3

Tulsa, USF, at UCF

at UConn, Cincy

Temple


In

South Florida

2-3

at UCF

SMU

Cincy, at UConn

at Navy, at ECU,
Temple

Out

Tulane

2-3

at Army

at SMU

Tulsa, UConn

Houston, at Navy, at Memphis

Out (unless you want to sub them for Tulsa)

  • AAC Final Tally: 7 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 7 bowl teams.

Atlantic Coast Conference, Perennial Home of Ten 6-6 or 7-5 Bowl Teams

  • We Skrong: Clemson, Duke, Florida St., North Carolina, Pitt (5)
  • Nope: Virginia
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

NC State

4-2

Syracuse

at Wake, at BC

at UNC

Clemson, at FSU

In

Miami (FL)

3-2

Virginia

VT, GA Tech

at UNC, at Pitt

Clemson, at Duke

In, but barely

Syracuse

3-2


at Virginia

Pitt, BC

at FSU, at L'ville,

Clemson, at NC St.

Out

Boston Coll.

3-3


at Syracuse

VT, NC State

at L'ville, at Clemson,
Notre Dame

Out

Virginia Tech

3-3

at Virginia

Duke, at BC

at Miami,
at GA Tech, UNC


In (with Duke upset)

Wake Forest

3-3



NC State

at UNC, at L'ville, at Notre Dame, at Clemson, Duke

Egad, no

Louisville

2-3

BC, at Wake,
Syracuse, UVA

at Kentucky

at Pitt

at FSU

In

Georgia Tech

2-4

at Virginia

Pitt, VT

at Miami, Georgia

FSU

Out (trade w/Miami
if you want)

  • ACC Final Tally: 9 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 16 bowl teams.

Big Ten Conference

  • We Skrong: Iowa, Michigan, Michigan St., Northwestern, Ohio St., Penn St., Wisconsin (7)
  • Nope: Maryland, Purdue
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Illinois

4-2

at Purdue


at Wisconsin,
at Minnesota

at PSU, Ohio St.,
at Northwestern

Out, surprisingly

Indiana

4-2

at Purdue

Rutgers,
at Maryland


at Michigan St.,
Iowa, Michigan

In

Minnesota

4-2


Nebraska,
Illinois

Wisconsin

Michigan, at OSU, at Iowa

Let's say in

Rutgers

2-3

at Army

Maryland

at Indiana

OSU, at Wisconsin,
at Michigan

Out

Nebraska

2-4

at Purdue,
at Rutgers


at Minnesota,
Northwestern

Michigan St., Iowa

Out

  • Big Ten Final Tally: 9 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 25 bowl teams.

Big Twelve Conference

  • Our Offenses Is Skrong: Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU (4)
  • Nope: Iowa State, Kansas
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Texas Tech

4-2

at Kansas


OK State, at WV,
K-State, at Texas

at Oklahoma

In (I doubt they'll get swept in those 4 games)

Kansas State

3-2

Iowa State,
at Kansas

at Texas,
at TX Tech, WV

Oklahoma, Baylor


In

West Virginia

3-2

at Kansas,
Iowa State

TX Tech, Texas

at K-State

at Baylor, at TCU

In

Texas

2-4

at Iowa St., Kansas

Texas Tech

K-State, at WV

at Baylor

Out (but getting in wouldn't be shocking)

  • Big Twelve Final Tally: 7 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 32 bowl teams.
  • Programming Note: Thanks for sucking so much, Kansas.

Conference USA

  • We Skrong: Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Western Kentucky (3)
  • Nope: Charlotte, Florida Atlantic, North Texas
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Florida International

3-3

Old Dominion,
Charlotte

at FAU

at MTSU

at Marshall, WKU

In (Go FAU!)

Rice

3-3

Army, at UTEP,
Charlotte

Southern Miss,
at UTSA


LA Tech

In

Southern Miss

3-3

at Charlotte,
UTEP, ODU

UTSA

at Rice

at LA Tech

In

Old Dominion

2-3


Charlotte,
UTEP, FAU

at UTSA

at FIU, WKU,

at Southern Miss

Out (it'll be close)

MTSU

2-4

North Texas

FIU, at FAU, at UTSA


at LA Tech,
Marshall

Out (I don't think
they'll sweep those 3)

UTEP

2-4

at North Texas

FAU

at ODU

at Southern Miss, Rice, at LA Tech

Out

Texas-San Antonio

1-5

at North Texas

ODU, at Charlotte

at Southern Miss, Rice, MTSU


Out (but at least they'll get some wins)

  • Conference USA Final Tally: 6 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 38 bowl teams.

Independents

  • We Skrong: BYU and Notre Dame (2)
  • Nope: Army
  • Running Bowl Tally: 40 bowl teams.

Mid-American Conference, Perennial Home of the ACC Lite 6-6 Bowl Teams

  • We Skrong: Ohio, Toledo, Bowling Green (3)
  • Nope: Eastern Michigan, Massachusetts, Miami (OH)
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Akron

3-3

at Miami

CMU, at UMass, Buffalo, Kent


at Bowling Green

In

N. Illinois

3-3

at Miami, EMU, WMU

at Buffalo

Ohio

at Toledo

In

Buffalo

2-3

UMass

at Miami, at Kent

at CMU, Ohio,
NIU, at Akron


In (should get one upset)

Western Michigan

2-3

at EMU,
Miami

Ball  St.

Bowling Green

at Ohio, at NIU, at Toledo

Out

Ball State

2-4

Georgia St.,
UMass


CMU, at WMU, Bowling Green

at Ohio

Out

Central Michigan

2-4

EMU

Buffalo, at Ball St., at Kent

at Akron

Toledo

In (barely)

Kent St.

2-4


at UMass

Buffalo, CMU, at Akron

Bowling Green, at Ohio

Out

  • MAC Final Tally: 7 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 47 bowl teams.

Mountain West Conference

  • We Skrong: Boise State (1)
  • Nope: Wyoming, Fresno State
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Air Force

3-2

Fresno St., at Hawaii, Army, at New Mexico

at Colorado St.

Utah St.

at Boise St.

In

Utah St.

3-2

Wyoming, at N. Mexico, Nevada

at SDSU,
at Air Force

Boise St., BYU


In

New Mexico

3-3



Hawaii,
Colorado St.

at SJSU, Utah St., Boise St., Air Force

Out (their 3 wins are 0-6, 0-6, and 0-5 teams)

Nevada

3-3

at Wyoming, Hawaii

at Fresno St., San Jose St.

at SDSU

at Utah St.

In

San Diego St.

3-3

Wyoming

at UNLV, Nevada

at SJSU, Utah St., at Colorado St.


In (barely, go UNLV)

San Jose St.

3-3

New Mexico

SDSU, at Hawaii

at Nevada

BYU, Boise St.

In (barely, go Aztecs)

Colorado St.

2-4

at Wyoming

SDSU, UNLV,

at N. Mexico,

at Fresno St.

Air Force


In

Hawaii

2-4


at N. Mexico, Fresno St., ULM

at UNLV, San Jose St.

at Nevada, Air Force

No (barely, go ULM)

UNLV

2-4

at Wyoming

at Fresno St., Hawaii

at Colorado St., San Diego St.

Boise St.

No (barely, go Fresno)

  • MWC Final Tally: 7 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 54 bowl teams.

Pac-12 Conference

  • We Skrong: California, Stanford, UCLA, Utah (4)
  • Nope: None yet, as such.
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Arizona

4-2


at Colorado, WSU

at Washington, Utah

at USC, at Arizona St.

In (go Colorado!)

Arizona St.

4-2

Arizona

Oregon, at WSU, Washington

at Utah, at Cal


In

USC

3-2

at Colorado, Arizona

at Cal, UCLA

at Notre Dame, Utah,

at Oregon


In

Washington

3-2

at Oregon St., WSU

Oregon, Arizona

Utah, at Arizona St.

at Stanford

In

Wash. St.

3-2


Oregon St., Colorado

at Arizona, at Arizona St.

Stanford, at UCLA, at Washington

Nah

Colorado

3-3



Arizona, at Oregon St., at WSU

at UCLA, Stanford, USC, at Utah

No (13 games due to Hawaii road trip)

Oregon

3-3

Oregon St.

Cal

at Washington, at Arizona St., USC

at Stanford

In (shouldn't get swept in those four road games)

Oregon St.

2-3


Colorado

at WSU

at Utah, UCLA, at Cal, Washington, at Oregon

No

  • Pac-12 Final Tally: 8 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 62 bowl teams.

Southeastern Conference

  • We Skrong: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Texas A&M (7)
  • Nope: South Carolina, Vanderbilt (since this article is based on Vandy finishing 5-7)
  • Programming Note: For the sake of the article, we'll say Vandy beats Houston (since it won't hurt them), SC (they're out anyway), and Kentucky (to get Mizzou into a bowl).
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

Kentucky

4-1

Charlotte

Auburn

UT, Louisville

at MSU, at Georgia, at VU*

In

Missouri

4-2

at VU*


MSU, BYU, UT, at Arkansas

at Georgia

Let's say in, I guess.

Auburn

3-2

Idaho


at UK, at Arkansas, Ole Miss, Georgia

at Texas A&M,  Alabama

Out

Tennessee

3-3

North Texas, S. Carolina, VU*

at Kentucky, at Mizzou


at Alabama

In

Arkansas

2-4

UT-Martin

Auburn, Mizzou

MSU, at Ole Miss

at LSU

Let's say they're in.

  • SEC Final Tally: 11 bowl teams. (Giving Arkansas the benefit of one upset is fine. I feel like I'm really giving Missouri a lot, but whatever. Let's just say they knock off someone besides Arkansas and move on.)
  • Running Bowl Tally: 73 bowl teams.

Sun Belt Conference

  • We Skrong: Appalachian State, Georgia Southern (2)
  • Nope: Georgia St., Idaho, New Mexico St.
  • Programming Note: Good grief, is this conference ever a disaster area.
  • The Hopefuls:

Team

Record

Likely Wins

Possible Wins

Possible Losses

Likely Losses

Bowl Prognosis

South Alabama

3-2

Idaho, at Georgia St.

Ark. St., at Texas St., at UL-Lafayette

App St.

at Ga. Southern

In

Arkansas St.

2-3

Georgia St., at NM St., Texas St.

UL-Lafayette, at UL-Monroe

at USA

at App St.

In

UL-Lafayette

2-3

ULM, at Georgia St., NM St., Troy


at Ark. St., at USA

at App St.

In

UL-Monroe

1-4

NM St.

at Idaho

App St., at Troy, at TX St., at Hawaii

at UL-Lafayette

No

Texas St.

1-4

NM St., Georgia St.

ULM, at Idaho

at USA

at Ga. Southern, at Arkansas St.

Not quite

Troy

1-4

Idaho, at NM St.

ULM, at Georgia St.


at App St., at ULL, Ga. Southern

Nah (nice try, though)

  • Sun Belt Final Tally: 5 bowl teams.
  • Running Bowl Tally: 78 bowl teams.

So there we have it, two leftover bowl slots.

In theory, if this were accurate (and it won't be) the two 5-7 teams would be Vanderbilt and ... either Nebraska or Boston College.  Uh, well then.  If you've been chomping at the bit for a rematch of the 2008 Music City Bowl, except between 5-7 teams and played on the home field of NAIA Faulkner University, then make plans to attend the 2015 Camellia Bowl.  Montgomery, Alabama, we're coming for you.