Three teams with losing records will play in a bowl game.
Coming into Saturday’s slate of games, there were 75 bowl-eligible teams to fill 80 slots. That number was bumped up to 77 with wins from Kansas State and Georgia State, leaving the final three spots to be filled by Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State – the three five-win teams with the highest Academic Progress Rate scores.
A bowl invitation was headed Kansas State’s way regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game against West Virginia. With a 976 APR, the Wildcats would have fallen between Nebraska (985) and San Jose State and Minnesota (975), but they took care of business with a 24-23 win over the Mountaineers.
Missouri (5-7) announced last week that it would not accept a bowl invitation, despite its 976 APR.
Like Georgia State and Kansas State, South Alabama had a chance to win its sixth game on Saturday against Appalachian State, but fell 34-27.
The wins from GSU and KSU knocked 5-7 teams Illinois and Rice (both have a 973 APR) from the bowl picture.
There has never been another year when multiple teams with losing records played in bowl games. In fact, only four other teams with losing records – North Texas (2001), UCLA (2011), Georgia Tech (2012) and Fresno State (2014) – have appeared in bowls. Of those four, Georgia Tech was the only team to win.
All of the bowl matchups will be unveiled on Sunday afternoon.
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