Central Florida's win over SMU earlier this afternoon leaves the American stuck on just four bowl eligible teams. Rutgers has a chance to become the fifth bowl-eligible team from the American tonight vs. USF. This opens up an at-large spot in the St. Petersburg-based Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl.
Should Rutgers lose to USF, a second bowl game would open up in the American's bowl lineup -- the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham.
Oklahoma State's loss to Oklahoma in Bedlam means the winner of Baylor / Texas (in progress) will represent the Big 12 in the Fiesta Bowl (vs. UCF). The Sooners win also increases the chances of a second Big 12 team making the BCS. Two Big 12 teams claiming BCS bids should open up a slot in the Houston-based Texas Bowl, which is good news for the group of AQ teams looking for a replacement bowl slot.
Clemson (BCS #13) is sweating a little more at this point as both UCF (BCS #16) and Oklahoma (BCS #17) were winners today. The Tigers need to hold onto a top 14 finish in the final BCS rankings to earn a spot in the Orange Bowl as Florida State's replacement (assuming a FSU win over Duke). Clemson should still be OK though, as one or both of Michigan State (BCS #10) and Arizona State (BCS #11) will likely fall past Clemson with losses. The ACC will be sweating a bit if both Michigan State and Arizona State win, as I don't think Ohio State (BCS #2) or Stanford (BCS #7) will fall out of the top 14 with a loss.
If Clemson doesn't earn a BCS bowl bid, the rest of the teams in the ACC's bowl lineup will all get push down a slot. That's a scary proposition for teams like 7-5 Boston College, 6-6 Pittsburgh and 6-6 Syracuse; all three programs may have to scramble to find replacement slots in bowl games outside the ACC's bowl lineup.
With 78 bowl-eligible teams for 70 slots, several programs will be left out. But chances are good that all of the AQ teams on the bubble land in bowl games in what is shaping up to be a soft replacement bowl market. The following bowl games still have openings:
12/23 - Beef O'Brady's (St. Petersburg, Fla.), American No. 6 vs. C-USA
12/26 - Poinsettia (San Diego, Calif.), MWC No. 2 vs. Army
12/26 - Little Caesars (Detroit, Mich.), MAC vs. Big Ten No. 8
12/31 - Independence (Shreveport, La.), SEC No. 10 vs. ACC No. 7
1/1 - Heart of Dallas, Big Ten No. 7 vs. C-USA
Additional spots will open up for the BBVA Compass Bowl with a Rutgers loss and the Texas Bowl, should two Big 12 teams earn BCS bowl berths.
Both the Pac-12 and ACC are likely to have two more bowl-eligible teams than bowl slots. The Independence (given the ACC's existing bowl tie-in) and Texas Bowl remain the most likely destinations for the Pac-12 free agents, leaving 2-3 ACC teams to duke it out over the Beef 'O' Brady's, Little Caesars and Heart of Dallas bowls.
Finally, the ACC's opponent in the Military Bowl has been decided as Marshall (9-4, 7-1 C-USA) has accepted a bid to play in Annapolis.
Marshall accepts bid to Military Bowl— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 7, 2013
Maryland is the Thundering Herd's likely opponent, depending on which ACC team the Independence Bowl selects.
SB Nation's updated bowl projections are here, with Boston College still slotted to face Ole Miss in the Music City Bowl.