There are 17 undefeated teams left in FBS, and eight of them stand at 5-0. This means, as we sit here on Oct. 1, it’s time to seriously talk about bowl eligibility. Those eight teams: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 4 Penn State, No. 5 Georgia, No. 6 Washington, No. 11 Washington State, No. 18 South Florida and No. 19 San Diego State.
Charlie Strong‘s Bulls actually could have been the first FBS team to secure a bowl trip with six scheduled games before October thanks to a Week 0 trip to San Jose State, but their Sept. 9 game against Connecticut was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.
Alas, South Florida is off this week (along with Washington), meaning the best the Bulls can hope for is a tie for seventh in the race for bowl eligibility. Unless. Unless, that is, one of the six 5-0 teams playing this weekend loses.
Here’s the Week 6 schedule for the teams in question.
Clemson: vs. Wake Forest (noon ET, ESPN2)
Georgia: at Vanderbilt (noon ET, ESPN)
Penn State: vs. Northwestern (noon ET, ABC)
Alabama: at Texas A&M (7:15 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Washington State: at Oregon (8 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Networks)
San Diego State: at UNLV (10:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
In another odd scheduling quirk, Saturday’s trip to Oregon will be Washington State’s first road game of the season. Although without Justin Herbert, the Ducks’ chances of knocking off the Cougars are significantly diminished.
Assuming each of these teams wins Saturday, a victory will be marked not for securing a bowl trip, but simply as just another win. Georgia would secure its 21st consecutive bowl game, Alabama its 16th, Clemson its 12th, Penn State its 10th (not counting two NCAA penalty seasons), San Diego State its eighth, and Washington State its third.