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What Are Iowa State's Bowl Chances? Week 11 Edition Part 1

All Cyclone fans want to see Iowa State get to that magical 6th win. With 2 winnable games left, it's very possible that Iowa State could become bowl eligible. There's a lot of talk out there about whether or not Iowa State would get to a bowl if they had 6 wins. The short answer is "who knows?". If you want the longer answer, here's a look at what the bowl picture looks like:

Overall there are 68 teams selected for Bowl Games. There are already 44 teams that are bowl eligible, with another 27 teams that are only 1 win away (including Iowa State). If you do the math right, that makes 71 teams that have a good chance of being bowl eligible, with only 68 slots.

Here's a breakdown by conference how I think the Bowl Selection will play out.

Big 12: 8 bowl tie-ins including the BCS

BCS: Texas

Non-BCS: Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Texas Tech, K-State, Missouri, Texas A&M

Bubble: Iowa State, Kansas - Both are only 1 win away, but have been sliding.

Open Bowls: None

Why do I have Missouri and K-State in? I think Missouri can win at least one of K-State, ISU, and Kansas. I think K-State can beat Missouri or Nebraska. If K-State ends up with at least a tie for the North, they are going to get a bid before ISU or Kansas.

Unless Texas loses the Big 12 Title Game, if ISU or Kansas get to 6 wins, they will have hope to get invited by an unfilled bowl from another conference.

So, in order to know if Iowa State has a chance to go bowling, we have to look at how the other conferences will play out. Click the jump for the breakdown!

ACC: 9 Bowl Tie-Ins including the BCS

BCS: Georgia Tech, Possibly Miami also

Non-BCS: Miami, VA Tech, Clemson, Boston College, Florida State, UNC

Bubble: Duke (5-4) with Georgia Tech, @ Miami, and Wake Forest left. Wake Forest is on the bubble also at 4-6 with Florida State and @ Duke left. If Wake gets in, no way Florida State does, so it doesn't change the totals.

Open Bowls:  Eaglebank, GMAC

Depending on whether Miami goes to the BCS, and how Duke does, there could be between 1-3 Bowls Open.

Big East/Notre Dame: 6 Bowl Tie-Ins including the BCS

BCS: Cincinnatti, Pittsburgh

Non-BCS: Notre Dame, West Virginia, Rutgers, South Florida

Bubble: UConn

If UConn did not get in, the St. Petersburg Bowl will go to a Sun-Belt team. The Sun-Belt would be able to fill this bid, as Middle-Tennesse State is already Bowl Eligible.

Big 10: 7 Bowl Tie-Ins including the BCS

BCS: Ohio State/Iowa

Non-BCS: Ohio State/Iowa, Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Minnesota, Northwestern

Bubble: Michigan-  With Wisconsin and @ Ohio State left, a bowl bid is doubt

Open Bowls: None

Pac 10: 6 Bowl Tie-Ins including the BCS

BCS: Oregon, USC

Non-BCS: Arizona, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford

Bubble: Arizona State, UCLA

Open Bowls: Poinsettia. It goes to #4 WAC team if available, otherwise it's open.

SEC: 9 Bowl Tie-Ins including the BCS

BCS: Florida, Alabama

Non-BCS: LSU, Auburn, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas

Bubble: Mississippi State

Open Bowls: None

Conference USA: 6 bowls

Non-BCS: Houston, East Carolina, Marshall, Southern Miss, SMU, UCF

Bubble Teams: None

Open Bowls: None

MAC:  4 bowls

Non-BCS: Central Michigan, Temple, Ohio, Northern Illinois

Bubble: Kent State

Open Bowls: None

Mountain West: 5 bowls


Non-BCS: Utah, BYU, Air Force

Bubble: San Diego State, Wyoming

Open Bowls: New Mexico, Humanitarian

If TCU didn't get to the BCS, then only the Humanitarian would be open

WAC: 4 bowls (1 if unfilled by the Pac 10)

Non-BCS: Boise State, Fresno State, Idaho

Bubble: Nevada

Open Bowls: Poinsettia if Pac 10 doesn't fill, and Nevada does not become bowl eligible

Sun Belt:  3 bowls (1 guarenteed, 2 if other conferences cannot fill)

Non-BCS: Troy,

Bubble: Middle Tennesse State. They are bowl eligible, but only get in if St. Petersburg,, and Independence are open. With how I have everything playing out, Middle Tennessee State would get into St. Petersburg with the Big East not being able to fill all bowls

Navy: Is locked into the Texas Bowl

Bubble Teams That Cannot Get Into Conference Tie-In if Eligible (in probable order of selection)

  • Michigan/Big 10 Team (if they got 6 wins, and another Big 10 team had 6 wins, they likely would get to a Big 10 bowl and a different Big 10 team would be out)
  • Iowa State
  • Mississippi State
  • Kansas
  • Kent State
  • Louisiana-Monroe
  • Louisana-Lafayette

Summary of Open Bowls (and selection order):

Humanitarian: Completley open. If ISU got to 6 wins, I'd think we'd probably get invited here (and get our butts kicked by Boise State), since we've been there before.

EagleBank: Duke, Open. I think it will be hard for Duke to get a win, and even if they do, the ACC could get 2 teams and make this open.

New Mexico Bowl: San Diego State, Wyoming, Open. I think there's a strong chance this will be open.

GMAC: Wake Forest, NC-State, Open. I think there's a strong chance this is open, but I could see Wake Forest winning out, as they have been tough

Poinsettia: Arizona State, UCLA, Nevada, Open. Nevada just needs one more win, and I think they take this bowl.

St. Petersburg: UConn, Middle Tennessee State. Middle Tennessee State is bowl eligible. If UConn does not make it, they will get this bowl. If UConn does make it, and Middle Tennessee State gets to 7 wins, they will get to a bowl ahead of any 6-6 teams on the above list.

So in sum, there looks to be a good chance three bowls will be open in the Humanitarian, Eagle Bank, and New Mexico Bowl. With three bowls open, and Iowa State likely being able to get into the top three of the at large, there's a decent chance it could happen. At the same time, this is all really political, and I made a bunch of assumptions.

In Part Two, I will give some tips on how Iowa State fans should root if they want to see us get into a bowl!