Will there be enough bowl teams in 2014? Pressure is on

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While the most popular question this college football season has been “Who’s in,” with regard to the new College Football Playoff, it is easy to forget the rest of the bowl games will be played too and need teams to fill those spots. Heading to mid-November a total of 51 teams have clinched bowl eligibility, and 23 more schools could join them with one more win. With 38 bowl games and 51 teams ready for postseason play, that leaves 25 bowl spots still to fill. With a few weeks to play, the odds are still good all 25 vacancies will be accounted for, but the pressure is on for a handful of teams to finish the season strong.

There are 51 teams currently bowl eligible, but that number could easily be increased to 52. Georgia Southern has been playing very well in its first year in the Sun Belt Conference and already has enough wins for typical bowl eligibility. However, because this is its first season playing FBS football, Georgia Southern is technically ineligible for postseason play until 2015. Georgia Southern could still go bowling this season though if a waiver for postseason play is approved. If there are bowl spots to fill, this would increase the likelihood of Georgia Southern going to a bowl game this season.

For a quick rundown of which teams are currently eligible, which are close and which are not, here is a conference-by-conference breakdown of the entire bowl picture. Here is how each conference is broken down.

Eligible: Already bowl eligible

On Deck: One win away from clinching bowl eligibility

On Thin Ice: One loss away from being ineligible

Out: Already making plans for 2015

American Athletic Conference

Eligible: Memphis, East Carolina

On Deck: Cincinnati, UCF, Houston, Temple

On Thin Ice: Tulane, USF

Out: Connecticut, Tulsa, SMU

ACC

Eligible: Florida State, Clemson, Louisville, Boston College, Duke, Georgia Tech, Miami

On Deck: NC State

On Thin Ice: Virginia

Out: Syracuse, Wake Forest

Big 12

Eligible: Baylor, Kansas State, Oklahoma, TCU, West Virginia

On Deck: Oklahoma State, Texas

On Thin Ice: Kansas, Texas Tech

Out: Iowa State

Big Ten

Eligible: Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Minnesota, Ohio State, Nebraska, Wisconsin

On Deck: Michigan, Penn State, Rutgers

On Thin Ice: Indiana, Northwestern

Out: Purdue

Conference USA

Eligible: Louisiana Tech, Marshall, Rice

On Deck: Middle Tennessee, UAB, UTEP

On Thin Ice: Old Dominion, North Texas

Out: FIU, FAU, UTSA, Southern Mississippi

MAC

Eligible: Bowling Green, NIU, Toledo, Central Michigan, Western Michigan

On Deck: Ohio

On Thin Ice: Buffalo, Ball State

Out: Eastern Michigan, Miami, UMass

Mountain West Conference

Eligible: Colorado State, Boise State, Utah State, Air Force, Nevada

On Deck: San Diego State

On Thin Ice: Fresno State, San Jose State, Wyoming, New Mexico

Out: Hawaii, UNLV

Pac-12

Eligible: Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, USC, UCLA, Utah

On Deck: Stanford, California, Washington*

Out: Colorado, Washington State

SEC

Eligible: Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, LSU, Missouri, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Texas A&M

On Deck: Florida, Kentucky

Out: Vanderbilt

Sun Belt Conference

Eligible: Georgia Southern**, Louisiana-Lafayette, Arkansas State

On Deck: Texas State, South Alabama

On Thin Ice: Louisiana-Monroe

Out: Troy, New Mexico State, Idaho, Georgia State

Independents

Eligible: Notre Dame

On Deck: BYU

On Thin Ice: Army

* Washington needs to win seven games because the Huskies play a 13-game schedule, which is allowed due to playing a road game at Hawaii. Adding the extra game adds a win to the required win total.

** Georgia Southern has met the normal bowl eligibility win requirement, but would have to have a waiver approved by the NCAA due to being in a transition year from FCS to FBS.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”