After somewhat of a wild and crazy year in Conference USA football, a total of 8 teams in the league have reached that magic milestone of 6 wins to become bowl eligible. Now its just a matter of finding out who will go where, and who might be snubbed.
Conference USA has 5 direct tie ins to bowl games, including: Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 21), the Boca Raton Bowl (Dec. 23), the Popeyes Bahamas Bowl (Dec. 24), the Hawai'i Bowl (Dec. 24) and the Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dec. 26).
The conference also has secondary ties to the Duck Commander Independence Bowl (Dec. 27) and the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Jan. 2). Unlike years past, the conference champion does not automatically qualify for a certain bowl, but instead has their choice of all C-USA Bowls.
Here's a look at how some of the MinerRush contributors see things shaking out:
|Bowl Game||Alex Nicolas||Anthony Salom||Juan Corona||Jason Jones||Lorenzo Rubio|
|Gildan New Mexico Bowl - December 20th vs. MWC||UTEP||UTEP||UTEP||UTEP||Rice|
|Boca Raton Bowl - December 23rd vs. MAC||Western Kentucky||Western Kentucky||Western Kentucky||Marshall||Western Kentucky|
|Popeyes Bahamas Bowl - December 24th vs. MAC||Marshall||Louisiana Tech||Marshall||Western Kentucky||Louisiana Tech|
|Hawaii Bowl - December 24th vs. MWC||Rice||Rice||Rice||Rice||UTEP|
|Zaxby's Heart of Dallas Bowl - December 26th vs. Big Ten||Louisiana Tech||Marshall||Louisiana Tech||Louisiana Tech||Marshall|
Of course, much is still is left to be settled, especially with the conference champion still yet to be determined. Perhaps though, what seems most likely to take place, is UTEP going to play in the New Mexico Bowl. We'll have to wait a few more days to find out though.
Those that will also be waiting to find out what their bowl fate is are Middle Tennessee (6-6, 5-3), UAB (6-6, 4-4), and Old Dominion (6-6, 4-4). UAB, of course, shut down their football program, effective at the end of the season, so we'll see if that program has seen its end, or if there's one game left to play.
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