Sad as it is to say but we’ve got only one week left in the regular season for nearly everybody in the Power Five conferences and are just two weeks out from the all important Selection Sunday. The College Football Playoff race has turned into a modified eight team playoff with all of the conference title games going on and the continued jockeying for a New Year’s Six bid and other major bowl berths is filtering down to teams far and wide.
With all that in mind, CFTalk decided to peer into our crystal ball and take a look at the postseason picture — figuring out which teams wind up in certain bowl games prior to the official announcement. Running through all the scenarios, here’s how the bowl picture could play out from the final four to the very first one on December 16th:
College Football Playoff
||No. 2 Clemson
||No. 3 Oklahoma
||No. 1 Alabama
||No. 4 Ohio State
New Year’s Six
2016 FBS Bowl Games
|New Mexico Bowl
|Las Vegas Bowl
|New Orleans Bowl
|Boca Raton Bowl
|Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
|Armed Forces Bowl
|Dollar General Bowl
|Quick Lane Bowl
|Heart of Dallas Bowl
|Foster Farms Bowl
|Camping World Bowl
||San Diego State
|Music City Bowl
*Accepted bowl invite
Temple was down an important man on the defensive side of the ball last night, and will remain that way for however long their season continues.
Citing multiple sources, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that Chapelle Russell has been diagnosed with a torn ACL. The linebacker suffered the injury in the Week 10 win over Navy and didn’t play in Friday night’s win over Cincinnati.
As a result of the injury, obviously, Russell will miss the remainder of the 2017 season.
This is the second straight year Russell’s season has been cut short. He missed the last month of the 2016 season plus the postseason after suffering a knee injury during a November practice.
Entering the game against the Bearcats, Russell led the Owls in tackles (70) and was tied for the team lead in forced fumbles (two). Russell, who had started the last eight games, had also been credited with 3.5 tackles for loss.
At 5-5, Temple needs to win one of its last two games to become bowl-eligible.
It’s the first day of the college basketball season and for one half of play it sure seemed like the Temple and Cincinnati football teams would rather be watching hoops given their effort through the first of two extremely boring quarters of football. Luckily the pair seemed to snap out of things at halftime as things got a little crazy in the third quarter before the Owls eventually pulled away with a 35-24 win on Friday night.
The two sides traded touchdowns coming out of the locker room at the break to inject quite a bit of life into an otherwise sloppy game between teams that are fighting to remain above water on the season. As part of four trips to the end zone in the third quarter, there was also a dropped punt snap that resulted in a turnover on downs, a two point conversion off a reverse pass and an Isaiah Wright 98-yard kick return for an Owls score.
Redshirt junior Frank Nutile continued to rack up big plays for Temple with both his arm and his legs. Making just his third start behind center, the quarterback threw for 224 yards and a touchdown (one interception) while also rushing for 28 yards and a score. He formed a pretty good combo in the backfield with tailback David Hood, who ran for 89 yards and a touchdown as the Owls racked up over 400 yards of offense.
The picture was quite as so rosy on the home sideline as the Bearcats were shutout in the first half and turned the ball over on a fumble. Hayden Moore threw for 217 yards on 20-of-36 passing (two TD’s) despite the shaky effort to start the game at quarterback. Mike Boone was all over the field for the offense in the second half, winding up with 58 yards and a touchdown rushing while also throwing a pass and catching a touchdown. It just wasn’t enough to keep pace with their opponent in a loss that knocks the team out of the running to make it in to the postseason.
The flip side is the outcome was good enough to keep Temple in the hunt for a bowl game and move them to .500 on the year. They still have to play undefeated UCF among their final two games but it certainly seems like a squad hitting their stride with Nutile at quarterback and a defense that knows how to limit big plays.
One of the most prolific players in the running game in the country this season will be at Navy’s disposal for its Week 10 American Athletic Conference matchup later on today.
In the third quarter of an Oct. 21 loss to UCF, Zach Abey sustained a concussion and did not return to the field. Fortunately for both the player and the service academy, the Midshipmen were on a bye this past weekend.
That extra time off, as it turns out, played a significant role in the quarterback being medically cleared and ready to go Thursday night against Temple
“He is fine,” head coach Ken Niumatalolo said earlier this week according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. “He is back on concussion protocol and will be ready for Temple.”
Abey leads all FBS quarterbacks and is sixth nationally with 1,141 yards rushing this season. His 13 rushing touchdowns are tied for fifth in the country as well.
With eight in a row, Abey will be looking to extend his school record for consecutive 100-yard rushing games against the Owls.
The calendar may say October, but we’re already talking bowl bids.
Specifically, it was announced Saturday afternoon that Army has officially accepted a bid to play in the 2017 Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl. The service academy’s sixth win of the season came courtesy of a 31-28 overtime win over Temple.
“We are absolutely delighted that Army West Point has accepted an invitation to play in the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl,” bowl executive director Brant Ringler said in a statement. “Coach Jeff Monken has been outstanding since his arrival at West Point, and again reaching the post-season is a tremendous accomplishment. We are thrilled to be able to host the Army West Point football team and the cadets in Fort Worth.”
“To return to the Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl is very special for our football program and the U.S. Military Academy,” Army athletic director Boo Corrigan said in his. “The bowl did an exceptional job in 2010 in our win over SMU and we are looking forward to another great experience for our players, coaches and staff in Fort Worth in December.
The bid acceptance is contingent, though, on Army not being selected for the Group of Five’s slot in a New Year’s Six Bowl. The Black Knights are currently 6-2 on the season; as of this posting, there are two G5 unbeatens (USF, UCF) and four with one loss (Memphis, Navy, Marshall, Toledo).
As we noted this week, Army will be making its first back-to-back bowl appearances since the 1984-84 seasons.