Bowl Watch: GSU

Trevor Mcnaboe

 Conference  Total teams Currently in  Teams w/ 5 wins  Teams w/ 6 losses   Eliminated
 AAC  11  2  4  2  3
 ACC  14  7  1  1  2
 Big 12  10  5  2  2  1
 Big 10  14  7  3  2  1
 C-USA  13  3  3  2  4
 INDEP  4  1  1  1  0
 MAC  13  5  1  2  4
 M-West  12  5  0  4  2
 PAC-12 12   6  3  0  2
 SEC  14  8  2  0  1
Sun Belt  11  2  2  1  4
 Total  128  51  22  17  24

The madness that is bowl season is coming as the regular season of college football concludes. With that comes questions: Who will make the first ever College Football Playoff? What bowl game will teams will participate in?

However there is one constant among this: people want to see Georgia Southern make a bowl game this season despite being almost virtually ineligible.

The NCAA transition rule is the cause of GSU’s ineligibility. The rule bars new teams (even with a bowl qualifying record of six wins against FBS opponents) from competing in a bowl- unless there are not enough teams to fill the bowl game slots. This season, there are 76 spots up for grabs.

The outcry surrounding this ruling has caused the #FreeGSU petition to gain traction. The petition currently has over 6000 signatures asking that the Eagles, who are 8-2 and an undefeated 7-0 in conference, be allowed to play.

While this petition may be a long shot, fear not Eagle Nation, there is still hope for a bowl game this season.

There is the scenario that will allow Georgia Southern to be rewarded for their historic first season in the FBS.

At the FBS level, there are a total of 128 teams spread over ten conferences and four additional independent teams.

Bowl games are organized with each conference having certain tie-ins. Should a conference not have enough bowl-eligible teams, another conference can fill the empty spot.

Right now, there are 51 teams that have the six wins needed to qualify for a bowl game. There are 24 teams that have lost seven games, rendering them ineligible for a bowl. That leaves 52 teams (not including Georgia Southern) with the opportunity to qualify for the remaining 25 bowl game spots.

Of those 52 teams, 17 have six losses- meaning that one loss would eliminate them from contention. There are 22 teams that have five wins, one victory away from eligibility.

Statistically, Georgia Southern has no chance at receiving one of the three Sun Belt bowls, as either South Alabama or Texas State will gain the final slot from the conference this weekend.

The Eagles will have to hope for Navy to not qualify, and that will open up the Poinseitta Bowl. The Chick-fil-A Bowl will open up if Marshall, Colorado State, and Boise State lose.

The group of five slot is reserved to the highest ranked conference champion from the Sun Belt, American, CUSA, MAC, and Mountain West if no member is in the College Football Playoff.

With three weeks left in the season, there is small chance for the Eagles to make their first bowl, but one thing is for certain: this won’t be the last time they’ll have a chance at making the postseason.