Checking in with the future neighborhood
- Updated: December 3, 2013
Bowl season is slowing taking shape, with teams being slotted into the 70 spots available among the 35 postseason games.
There are 125 FBS teams from which to choose, meaning roughly 56% of all big boys get a postseason game on their schedule.
Great odds … unless you play in the Sun Belt.
App State’s future neighborhood currently has two contractually obligated bowl spots for its two top teams – the GoDaddy and New Orleans bowls. Those slots have been filled. That leaves at least three bowl eligible Sun Belters hoping somebody somewhere wants to see them play.
Good luck with that.
However, there is a big difference between bowl eligible and a bowl-game invitation.
Last season five Sun Belt teams were bowl eligible but only Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and WKU went to bowl games. One of the teams left out was Middle Tennessee, which finished 8-4 overall and 6-2 in league play before moving to Conference USA.
WKU is the hottest team in the Sun Belt with a four-game winning streak. Following WKU’s last-second 34-31 victory over Arkansas State on Saturday, Petrino was asked if he expected to see the Hilltoppers in a bowl game.
“I would hope so because our players deserve it,” he said.
The commish is on it.
In addition to that we are very, very active in talking to additional bowls for the bowl-eligible teams in the Sun Belt. Once again, the second year in a row five bowl-eligible teams for the Sun Belt. We’re actively pursuing open spots.
“For those of you that follow the bowl landscape and the number of at-large teams versus the number of open spots, there are potentially 13 bowl eligible teams that will be in the at-large field, headed up by Notre Dame along with 12 other at-large teams including at least four from the Sun Belt, if not five should South Alabama win on Saturday.
“We are going to be surrounded by competition for the open slots.
Sidenote, with one game left on the league schedule, only two programs in the eight-team league are below .500 – South Alabama (5-6) and Georgia State (0-12). And South Alabama has a chance to even its record if it beats LA-Lafayette Saturday.