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Friday, November 10, 2006

Sixth win wouldn’t guarantee bowl berth

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Hold it, cowboy.

Yes, Kansas University's football team is on the doorstep of bowl eligibility, needing only one victory to get the six-win permission slip signed.

But more so than the last few years, bowl eligibility won't necessarily mean a bowl invitation.

So don't surprise the family just yet with holiday road-trip aspirations.

The new 12-game schedule put into effect this year, coupled with last year's legislation allowing one victory per year against a Division I-AA opponent to count toward bowl eligibility, has made the supply go up and the demand go down for the 64 bowl openings.

Naturally, six-victory teams will increase significantly as a result of the two new rules.

The bowls did plenty to alleviate the surge - along with another BCS bowl game, the International, New Mexico and Birmingham bowls debuted this season, assuring invitations for eight additional teams.

It probably still won't be enough for all the six-win squads, though. And 6-6 teams, by rule, aren't allowed to trump a 7-5 team in the bowl-selection process.

"All the teams with winning records," Big 12 assistant commissioner Bob Burda said, "must be slotted into bowl games before 6-6 teams can."

In the Big 12 Conference, that could doom a team or two. Currently, seven teams are bowl-eligible, five of which already have seven victories. Two more - Kansas and Oklahoma State - have reasonable chances at getting six victories, while Baylor is considered a long shot.

If nine bowl-eligible teams indeed surface, one of the 6-6 squads won't get invited to one of the eight Big 12-affiliated bowls. If it's Kansas - still an "if" at this point - an at-large bid elsewhere will be needed.

That won't be easy, either. Much like the Big 12 rule, every 7-5 team in college football must get an invitation before a 6-6 team can be considered.

That means that the ninth team in the Big 12 could be left behind if smaller-conference teams hit seven victories without the luxury of a bowl tie-in. Arkansas State (5-4) in the Sun Belt is a possibility here. The Mountain West and Mid-American conferences could have a seven-win at-large team, as well.

After the 7-5 teams are accounted for, the few remaining at-large spots will be passed out among what likely will be more than enough 6-6 teams. It's possible, if not probable, that a few 6-6 teams won't be playing a 13th game.

The Ponsettia Bowl in San Diego has an at-large bid. The Motor City Bowl in Detroit and the New Mexico Bowl likely will, too - the Big Ten and Western Athletic conferences may not fill all of their designated slots, especially if Boise State earns the BCS berth it's on track for.

The 7-5/6-6 rule was designed to reward winning teams over .500 ones, considering that the I-AA legislation and the extra game makes six victories easier than ever.

So what do Kansas fans need to root for the last few weeks? First and foremost, victories over both Kansas State and Missouri to finish the season. Accomplish that, and Kansas is all but guaranteed a spot somewhere, possibly the Insight Bowl in Tempe, Ariz.

If Kansas gets only one more win, Jayhawk fans should hope that five-victory teams stay five-victory teams in the last few weeks of the regular season, and six-victory teams stay where they're at, too. Especially the ones in conferences already ripe with bowl-eligible squads.

Comments

JayCeph 13 years, 2 months ago

The Jays will beat the Tigs and get an 11th hour invite to someplace warm.

I'm not feeling so confident vs. the Wildcats though... 45 KSU vs 42 Texas. Can the Manginhawks beat 'em?

Hmmmm.

Michael Leiker 13 years, 2 months ago

Let's talk about this after Kansas loses one of the next two. I think this will be a moot point.

Bryan Anderson 13 years, 2 months ago

If the hawks could have finished out a couple of games that they held big leads in, it would be a moot point as well.

kcmostwanted 13 years, 2 months ago

Toledo...and Baylor :( ..then we wouldn't being reading this article

OPJayhawk 13 years, 2 months ago

Memo to the writer of this article, and to others at the Journal World. While we are known as "KU", using "Kansas University" is annoying as he!!, and makes you look like an idiot. Please use "KU" or "The University of Kansas". "Kansas University" is NOT the proper way to refer to the university. You'd think the hometown paper would be aware of this. This is getting old, and its embarassing.

Joe Ross 13 years, 2 months ago

Hey all! Get over to driveshow.com and vote for the KU analysts. K-State has been whipping on us for weeks!!! It'll only take a hundred votes or so to win this week so take 10 seconds and click over to cast a vote for the HAWKS!!!!

http://www.thedriveshow.com/polls/2006/nov/

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