Five-win FAU will have a chance to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2008 on Friday, but even if the Owls win their Shula Bowl match up with FIU, they might be sitting at home come bowl season.
Heading into the final week of college football’s regular season, there are 69 bowl eligible teams and 10 other teams that only need one win to reach the requisite number of wins for postseason consideration. With only 70 spots to be had this postseason, that doesn’t bode well for FAU.
The Owls likely won’t be able to count on Conference USA to find them a spot. With Conference USA’s six bowl game tie-ins already accounted for by the league, FAU will likely be at the mercy of bowl politics. There will be vacancies left by conferences not filling their game tie-ins, but with a surplus of teams — a conservative estimate is that there will be 74 bowl-eligible teams — those bowls will be able to pick their match up.
Will FAU be an attractive pick?
It seems doubtful, as the ACC will likely have a two-team surplus (which could be three in the unlikely event that Florida State drops out of the National Championship Game) and the PAC-12 has a one-team surplus.
In all likelihood, FAU will be amid a pile of four or five non-BCS Conference teams vying for a single spot in one unfilled bowl — either the Little Caesar’s Bowl in Detroit or the Famous Idaho Potato in Boise.
It’s not impossible that FAU would be the team selected amid the Sun Belt and MAC teams, but given the FAU’s location at the furthest possible point from anything and its not-exactly-impressive fan base size.
--UTSA still has a chance to win Conference USA, but they will not be eligible for a bowl game this season, a league spokesperson told the Sun Sentinel Sunday. A transitional program, UTSA could have petitioned to play in a bowl game had less than 70 teams reached bowl eligibility. Technically, all 10 teams who are on the cusp of bowl eligibility could lose next week, giving UTSA a window, but with FAU 28-point favorites against FIU, such a scenario infeasibleCopyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun