It was brought to our attention by several people that CBS’s Bowl Projection by Jerry Palm excluded the Black Knights. Needless to say, fans were upset, confused, and concerned. To make matters worse, Jerry is facetiously responding on Twitter.
Yeah, that's what contracts are for. https://t.co/MkOIPm7gOm
— Jerry Palm (@jppalmCBS) November 25, 2018
Look, Jerry is doing the great work. Fans across the country rely on sports writers to feed us information and opinions that we are unwilling to do or make for ourselves. Everyone makes mistakes, but when you do, you need to address it, especially if you’re doing it professionally for a media giant. With that being said, I personally have been dreading the research for this topic, but I knew it was time to dig in. No one makes half baked claims about the Ole Brave Army Team without backing them up! I also felt instantly better after finding two mistakes in his projections (see my tweet below).
Now, I’m not going to project every bowl, because frankly the readers of this site don’t care about what team is going to the Boca Raton Bowl. So what am I going to do? Predict the Top 12 to determine who will be in the New Year’s Six. If you read my other article, you can now rest assured it won’t be Army. Even with a UCF loss the MW Champion will be ranked higher (if we even get ranked at all, but more on that tomorrow). Once we know who is in the NY6 we can go conference by conference and list the number of tie-ins vs. qualified teams. Then simply apply the secondary ties and voilà…a list of limbo teams and remaining available Bowls (hello MW/MAC/Sun Belt). Let the Hunger Games begins!
Also if you prefer to just get the so what (not recommended) and trust me blindly then…
We currently have 81 teams qualified for Bowl bids. We will have 82 if Virginia Tech beats Marshall on Saturday December 1st. Assuming that happens, there will be 4 teams with greater than six wins that will get left out. So before setting the Top 12, here’s the number of teams qualified by conference.
*With Virginia Tech Win
Setting the Top 12
I’m assuming that Alabama will beat Georgia and Oklahoma will beat Texas. That should give us an Alabama, Clemson, Notre Dame, and Oklahoma Playoff. After that you will have one team from each of the following conferences: SEC, Big 10, Big 12, and Pac 12. This is because of the NY6 Tie-Ins below.
After those tie-ins, the at large bid will include UCF (unless they lose, but let’s assume they don’t) and a mixture of other teams. I’m guessing it will be two SEC teams (LSU and Florida) and one Big 10 team (Michigan).
Even if Ohio State gets in the Playoff with an Oklahoma loss, the number of teams representing each conference would likely remain the same. Texas would go to the Sugar Bowl and Oklahoma would get the At-Large spot opened up by Michigan moving to the Rose Bowl. Anyways, that is enough of the what-if game. Here are the number of teams from each conference that should be participating in the NY6 Bowls.
It’s very possible that the PAC 12 takes an At-Large spot, but we will have to see how far the committee pushes down Washington State after their loss this weekend. Remember that I am doing this before the Week 14 Rankings have been released, so projections are a little bit harder.
Conference Teams Eligible vs. Tie-Ins
The table below shows the number of eligible teams left by conference after the NY6 poach vs. the number of Bowl Tie-Ins each conference has. Asterisks explain the secondary Tie-Ins for conferences that them. Read more about all the Tie-Ins here (this is the simplified version).
*AAC Secondary Tie-Ins: Liberty and Independence Bowls. They won’t need these as they will have a primary unfilled Bowl.
*ACC Secondary Tie-Ins: St. Petersburg and Birmingham Bowls. If Tech wins then they will need to claim both of these in order to secure spots for all their teams.The Birmingham Bowl should go unfilled by the SEC, so The St. Petersburg Gasparilla Bowl is the AAC vs. C-USA while the Birmingham Bowl is SEC vs. ACC.
*C-USA Secondary Tie-Ins: Independence and Frisco Bowls. Like the AAC they won’t use their secondary agreements.
*MAC Secondary Tie-Ins: Quick Lane Bowl (Big Ten vs. ACC). Since the ACC will be using all their Bowls (and one secondary), the first MAC team out needs to hope that the Big 10 elects to vacate the Quick Lane Bowl. That makes it safe to say that the bottom two MAC teams are out.
*Mountain West Secondary Tie-Ins: Cheez-It Bowl (Big 12 vs. PAC 12). Even if they get the secondary, there is at least one MW Team out.
So what can you make from this table? There are nine teams that will be on the outside looking in hoping to get one of the five available Bowls. Look, I can’t predict what five bowls those will be. Each Conference has the right to fill their Bowls obligations as they see fit. Because the SEC does put their Bowl games into tiers and since they have two more bowls than eligible teams, I do know the Birmingham and Independence Bowls will be two of the five. The ACC will fill the Birmingham Bowl and hope that the AAC vacates the St. Petersburg Bowl (which is unlikely) to lock in it’s last eligible team. The vacated Independence Bowl will remain At-Large as the secondary conference (AAC/C-USA) do not need additional spots.
I want to note that the single Tie-In for the Independent Teams listed above is for BYU. The Cougars have a contract with ESPN Events to fill one of their 14 Bowls. The fail safe for ESPN is the Frisco Bowl since it only has guaranteed one team Tie-In with the AAC.
Are you tired yet? Ready for me to get to the so what? Unlike all of the Bowl Projection gurus I want to show my work so that you know it’s solid…Ok, so at this point we know that the ACC will grab one of the five spots with the Birmingham Bowl. That leaves four spots for the remaining eight teams: Army, 3 MAC, 2 MW, 1 ACC, and 1 Sun Belt. The MAC and the MW each have secondary Tie-Ins to the Quick Lane and Cheez-It Bowl respectfully. The MAC would need the Big 10 vacate the Quick Lane Bowl and the MW would need the Big 12 do the same with the Cheez-It Bowl. One might happen, but probably not both. The Big 12 will probably pass on the Armed Forces Bowl instead.
Let’s assume for arguments sake that it works out perfectly for the MAC and the MW and they are able to claim the Quick Lane and Cheez-It Bowls. That leaves two Bowl bids for the remaining six teams. A Power Five ACC Team (Wake Forest) and Army probably don’t get left out either. I’d guess that 7-5 Western Michigan, 6-6 Miami-Ohio, 6-6 Wyoming, and 6-6 UL Monroe sit the bench.
Where could we land:
- Independence Bowl courtesy of the SEC.
- SERVPRO First Responders Bowl courtesy of the Big Ten.
Other Bowls that almost made the list were the Cure/Frisco and Armed Forces Bowls courtesy of the AAC and Big 12 (or they could vacate Bowls that have secondary Tie-Ins as discussed above). In many years these would be options for us, but the Cure Bowl is too close to the Army vs. Navy Game and other two occur during TEE Week (that Golden nugget was from Austin Luher). That’s why they aren’t on the list and also why we haven’t accepted a bid yet. The Independence Bowl has already visited and has a big interest in inviting the Black Knights if their Primary/Seconday Tie-Ins don’t pan out. Guess what? They aren’t going too. See you Louisiana!
It’s almost virtually guaranteed that Army gets into a Bowl. The only doomsday scenario that exists is if two Bowls decide another 0.500 team would draw better than us…Army’s 10-2 and nationally ranked. Our program has brand recognition and prestige with rich College Football History. We averaged over 30,000 fans at home in 2017. The MAC home attendance average was 15,000. Army gets the nod over any remaining eligible teams. We will be discussing Bowls more on the As For Football College Football Show this week, so make sure you tune in. You can watch the show on Youtube or Facebook and listen to it on iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher. Dan will be posted another Bowl Article outlining the matchups, so be on the lookout for that. If you haven’t listened to or watched the show, this week is a good week to start.
Jerry Changed his tune on both Army and BYU getting into a Bowl…I wonder why??
After clarifying some of the secondary bowl agreements, Army, BYU have a home. https://t.co/4f3CEjleNP
— Jerry Palm (@jppalmCBS) November 26, 2018
Beat Navy! Rest.