SMU shocks Houston 38-16, effectively knocking two huge American Athletic Conference stars out of the New Year’s Six hunt this weekend. What does it all mean?
SMU Beat Houston. For the New Year’s Six, What Does It All Mean?
– It couldn’t have been a more disastrous weekend for the American Athletic Conference. Navy won to keep New Year’s Six hopes alive, but it’ll be a hard sell after losing to Air Force earlier in the year. With Houston losing to SMU – to go along with the earlier loss to Navy – and with South Florida losing to Temple for its second loss of the season, that’s it. If the Midshipmen don’t win out, or win out and don’t get any help, the AAC is out of the big bowl spotlight.
– As a reminder, the CFP top-ranked conference champion from the Group of 5 conferences gets an automatic slot into one of the big bowl games – this year it’ll almost certainly be the Cotton.
– With the AAC all but out – unless Navy finishes drill – and no one in Conference USA with fewer than three losses, who are the big winners?
– Troy Trojans: 6-1 after beating South Alabama, it’ll be a hard sell to put in a team from the Sun Belt – the resume isn’t all that great – but the lone loss was to Clemson 30-24. It’ll take a few losses from the other key teams in the chase, but win out, go 11-1, and at least they’ll be close.
– Boise State Broncos: They’re almost certainly in if they go 13-0. The Mountain West stinks this year, but wins over Washington State, Oregon State, and BYU are going to matter. They’re not destroying teams, but they’re playing well enough to still be unbeaten, and even at 12-1 – as long as they win the Mountain West title – should be okay to get the call as long as there’s a loss from …
– Western Michigan Broncos: They’re 8-0 with a road win over Northwestern and a blowout at Illinois, and along the way they’re doing what Boise State isn’t – they’re beating everyone by double digits. They’re rolling through everyone, and if they win out, and Boise State loses a game, the MAC is in the spotlight.