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BC Bowl Eligibility Update: Eagles Likely Already Bowling With 5 Wins

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It would take some statistical chaos for BC to miss bowl season

NCAA Football: Connecticut at Boston College Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

A few weeks back we took a look at the numbers and found that BC was very likely to make a bowl game at 5-7. With only one week remaining in the regular season (or for a handful of teams, two), the fog has started to clear on exactly what needs to happen for BC to be playing in December.

Like last time, we’re going to kick off with the same caveats:

  • No one is rooting for BC to lose to Wake Forest.
  • We can all acknowledge that going 5-7 would result in an incredibly disappointing season.
  • No one is rooting for BC to lose to Wake Forest.
  • If you are rooting for BC to lose to Wake Forest because you hope it will get Daz fired, you are a clown, stop rooting against your team, and GTFOOMAM*.

*HT to Eagle Outsider so I don’t get banned again

Anyway, let’s do the math.

There will be 80 teams playing in bowl games. Bowl games are filled in a certain order, with teams 6-7** or better all getting in before the 5-7 teams. If, after all those teams are selected, there are still bowl slots open, the remainder will be filled with teams based solely on, and in numerical order of, their Academic Progress Rate (APR).

**teams that play in Hawaii, basically

Historically, BC has had an excellent APR, and this year is no different, although there are some good teams that get dibs before BC.

Here are the FBS schools above the Eagles in APR this season:

We can eliminate the teams with 6 or more wins, as well as Illinois, who won’t be able to get to 5 wins:

Any teams with 5 wins and a higher APR would make a bowl before us, so we must assume that Northwestern, Vanderbilt, and North Texas all make it. That leaves us with:

Well, that definitely clears the fog.

So, of the teams that are either (1) not already bowl eligible or (2) wouldn’t already be in if BC were to also make it, Duke is the only team that can leapfrog BC in the bowl pecking order.

Using the data from the folks at TeamRankings.com, we can start to see bowl eligibility take shape. Knowing that there are 80 teams that will make a bowl game this year, we know that there are already 65 teams bowl eligible, with another three that will at least make it on APR if BC were to make it, for a total of 68:

Below the Eagles, we can narrow down only the teams that still have a shot at bowl eligibility — a total of 85 teams, playing for 80 slots.

That puts BC in a very strong position to make a bowl game, despite not having mathematically clinched a spot. In theory, 12 of the 16 teams below the Eagles could win enough games to either get to 6 wins (or, in Duke’s case, get to 5 wins) but that is very unlikely, particularly when you consider that only 10 of those teams have a 50/50 chance or better at winning the requisite number of games.

So, if you’d like to do some scoreboard watching this weekend, you’ll want to see anyone with 5 wins, or Duke, or LA Lafayette, lose their games. Once five of these teams are unable to reach their magic number, BC will clinch a spot.

All this will be moot, though, if the Eagles can take care of business against Wake Forest on Saturday. At 6-6, BC won’t technically be guaranteed a bowl berth, but it would make it a virtual certainty that they’d be in.