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Bowl Game analysis for ISU by conference

Brief discussion and a quick guide on who to root for conference by conference for next week.

ACC: 9 bowl tie-ins, 6 Eligible now. Can fill 8 at most.

Duke and Florida State still have a chance to get bowl eligible with one more win apiece. Florida State has Maryland and (1) Florida left on the schedule, Duke has Miami and Wake Forest. If one of these teams doesn't get another win, the ACC's spot in the Eaglebank bowl would be open to an at-large team as well.

Big 12: 8 bowl tie-ins, 7 Eligible now, 4 within striking distance.

Kansas State can win the Big 12 North next week in Lincoln, but if they lose they won't even be bowl eligible, because two of their 6 wins are over FCS teams. Kansas could get there with a win over Missouri on 11/28 (I don't like their chances against Texas next week, however). In the South,  Texas A&M needs to beat Baylor next week to get eligible, because they've got Texas the week after. Even Baylor is still mathematically in the picture, if they can run the table against Texas A&M and Texas Tech.

Big East: 6 Bowl Tie-ins, 4 Eligible now, 3 within striking distance

South Florida can clinch eligibility and knock 4-6 Louisville out of the bowl hunt with a win next week. If UConn can win 2 of their next three (Notre Dame, Syracuse, and South Florida) Then they will likely take the 6th and final bowl spot. If not, a Sun Belt team will head to the St. Petersburg Bowl instead.

Big Ten: 7 Bowl Tie-ins, 7 Eligible now, Michigan at 5-6

Not having to compete with Michigan as an at-large team would be a boost to Iowa State's chances. Michigan would have to beat newly crowned big 10 champ Ohio State next week to get bowl eligible in "the rivalry", otherwise they're out.

C-USA (+ Army): 5/6 Bowl Tie-ins, 4 Eligible now, 4 to 5 more potential threats

C-USA is guaranteed 5 bowl spots, and a 6th in the Eaglebank bowl if Army fails to win their last two games to become bowl eligible. If North Texas can beat Army next week, that keeps one more potential at-large team out of the mix. East Carolina can be the 5th team eligible and knock Tulsa out of contention with a win tomorrow night. UAB and Marshall can also both get bowl eligible by winning one of their last two games, thereby throwing even more "at-large" teams into the mix.

MAC: 3 Bowl Tie-ins, 4 eligible, 4 more who could get 6 wins.

This is the conference that will likely toss out the most potential at-large teams to compete with ISU for the open bowl spots, should ISU not get one of the eight Big XII spots. Bowling Green and Kent State can both hit 6 wins by winning one of their last two games. Western Michigan has to beat Ball State in order to secure eligibility, and Toledo has to beat Eastern Michigan and Bowling Green to get eligible.  Hopefully one more week of games will clear up this conference picture.

MWC: 5 Bowl Tie-ins, 4 eligible, 2 more who could get eligible.

Wyoming isn't very likely to get their 6th win next week over TCU, but a win over Colorado State the week after would slot them into the Humanitarian Bowl. San Diego State still has some life as well, but they would have to win at (16) Utah and at UNLV in order to scrape together 6 wins.

Pac-10: 6 Bowl Tie-ins, 6 Eligible, 2 on the bubble.

If UCLA can beat Arizona State next week, they will be competing with ISU as an "at-large" team because the Pac 10 bowls are already tied up. Arizona State can also still get bowl eligible by beating UCLA next week and Arizona the week after.

SEC: 9 Bowl Tie-ins, 9 Eligible, 2 more possible

If Mississippi State (4-6) can beat Arkansas and Mississippi, they will be the 6th out of 6 SEC West teams to get bowl eligibility. Tennessee can lock up an at-large spot with a win over Vanderbilt next week.

WAC: 3 Bowl Tie-ins, 4 eligible, Hawai'i still around

Hawai'i plays 13 games this year, and therefore needs 7 wins to be bowl eligible. If Hawai'i loses any of their next three games (San Jose St., Navy, (20) Wisconsin), they will not go to a bowl this year. If Boise State ends up in the BCS, and Hawaii loses one, the WAC teams will slot nicely into the WAC bowls and the conference will be a non-issue from ISU's point.

 

{Cheat Sheet on who to cheer for Next Week}

Games where the loser would no longer get bowl eligibility, and therefore no longer be a threat to fill a bowl spot:

Nebraska over Kansas State
Baylor
over Texas A&M (if Baylor loses)
Notre Dame
over UConn
South Florida over Louisville
Ohio State over Michigan
North Texas over Army
Ball State over W. Michigan
E. Michigan over Toledo
Utah over San Diego State
Arizona State over UCLA (if ASU loses)
Arkansas over Mississippi State
Troy over Florida Atlantic
San Jose St. over Hawai'i

Other teams to cheer for:

Maryland over Florida State
Miami over Duke
Nebraska over Kansas State
Texas over Kansas
Baylor over Texas A&M
Southern Methodist over Marshall
Akron over Bowling Green
Temple over Kent State
TCU over Wyoming
Vanderbilt over Tennessee
Louisana-Monroe over Louisiana-Lafayette

This FanPost does not necessarily represent the opinions of Clone Chronicles or SB Nation.

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