Bowl predictions: Troy needs help from other teams to get a bowl bid

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Troy enters their game against Texas State with a 5-6 overall record. A win over the Bobcats will make the Trojans bowl eligible for the first time since 2010.

Even if the Trojans become bowl-eligible, however, they will need a little help to make a bowl game.

The Sun Belt Conference has two guaranteed bowl tie-ins with the New Orleans Bowl and the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile. The Sun Belt currently has four bowl-eligible teams, and three more teams, including Troy, can become bowl-eligible in the last two weeks of the season. The Sun Belt also has secondary bowl tie-ins with the Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit, the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg and the AdvoCare 1000 Independence Bowl in Shreveport if there are no bowl-eligible teams from other conferences.

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While one of Louisiana-Lafayette or Arkansas State will be guaranteed the New Orleans Bowl by virtue of their conference championship, the rest of the bowls can pick from any bowl-eligible Sun Belt team.

As it currently stands, the SEC has nine bowl-eligible teams to fill 10 bowl games. Mississippi State can become bowl-eligible with a win over Ole Miss, but we predict the Rebels will win, which will open up a potential spot in the AdvoCare 1000 Independence Bowl for a Sun Belt team. We also think that the SEC will have a team in the BCS National Championship game and in the Sugar Bowl, opening up a spot in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham.

The AAC will also likely not fill its six bowl tie-ins. We believe Rutgers will become bowl-eligible, but SMU will fail to get to six wins, opening a spot in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.

Trojan fans should also cheer for Florida State to make the BCS National Championship game. The ACC currently has 10 bowl-eligible teams to fill eight bowl games.

If Florida State makes the National Title game, then that will leave only one ACC team without a bowl. An southern ACC team would compete with and possibly look more attractive than Troy for potential bowl games.

All of this, however, is moot if the Trojans cannot pull out a win over Texas State this Friday.

Turn out at 1 p.m. to cheer on the Trojans to bowl-eligibility.

Here is The Messenger staff thinks the Sun Belt bowl situation will shake out:

Louisiana-Lafayette v. Maryland, AdvoCare 1000 Independence Bowl

ULM v. Tulane, New Orleans Bowl

Arkansas State v. Northern Illinois, GoDaddy Bowl

Troy v. Houston, BBVA Compass Bowl

Western Kentucky v. Ball State, Little Caesars Bowl.