What teams in the midst of supposedly lost seasons still might be in the hunt for a bowl game thanks to the APR – the Academic Progress Rate. Check out the ranking of the 25 teams still in the bowl race helped by the APR.
Ranking the Top 25 Bowl Hopeful Teams Who Care About APR
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Like last year, there won’t be enough teams to fill all the bowl slots – Minnesota, San Jose State, and Nebraska got in on this, and they all won – so the open space will be determined by the APR – the Academic Progress Rate – as a way of letting 5-7 teams in.
Forgetting that the fate of a 2016 college football team’s post-season is being determined by whether or not guys who used to go to the school went to class and did okay – which is basically what the APR is – it’s as good a way as any to fill out the dance card if the College Football Playoff committee isn’t doing it.
With that in mind, here are the teams most likely to care about the APR and are in the race for the potential open bowl bids
1. Duke (3-5)
APR 995: Only Dartmouth is higher in the APR world. Duke is No. 2, and Wisconsin third. The Blue Devils aren’t going to win three of their last four with the way they’re playing, but the must win two of last four vs. Virginia Tech, North Carolina, at Pitt, at Miami.
2. Vanderbilt (4-4)
APR 990: The Commodores have to win just one their last four games to be near the top of the APR, five-team list. They can get in on their if they win two more, but that might be tough playing at Auburn, at Missouri, Ole Miss and Tennessee.
3. Georgia Tech (5-3)
APR 987: The Yellow Jackets don’t have to win another game, and they might not playing North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Georgia on the road, and Virginia at home. Of course, they’re good enough to beat the Cavaliers, and maybe come up with at least one other win, but there’s a safety net.
4. North Texas (4-4)
APR 984: The Mean Green program stepped up the APR, and now it might pay off. They’re playing just well enough to win two of the last four games, but good luck coming up with a win over Louisiana Tech, at WKU and Southern Miss over the next three games, but with a win at UTEP to close out the season, they’ll still be in the hunt.
5. UCF (4-4)
APR 983: Scott Frost’s team is more than good enough to win two of the next three home games against Tulane, Cincinnati, and Tulsa – if not all three – before facing USF on the road. But if it can just win one more, it’ll be in the hunt for a bowl.
6. Boston College (4-4)
APR 981: BC went from just needing to get an ACC win to needing one more to be in range of a bowl game. The Eagles can fill out one of the likely vacant ACC slots by getting just one more win, but that might have to wait with Louisville and at Florida State up next. Closing out against UConn – not an ACC game, obviously – and at Wake Forest should get it done.
7. Indiana (4-4)
APR 979: The Hoosiers are good enough to beat Rutgers on the road and Purdue at home to get in on their own, and they might be able to come up with a win over Penn State or push Michigan on the road. All it needs is one win.
T8. Michigan State (2-6)
APR 978: The Spartans just aren’t good enough to run the table, but they’re good enough to win two of the last three games. They should get to five wins with at Illinois and Rutgers up next, but Ohio State and at Penn State finish it up.
T8. Missouri (2-6)
APR 978: As bad as the first season has been under Barry Odom, and as ugly as the four-game losing streak has been, the Tigers are absolutely dangerous enough to get three wins against at South Carolina, Vanderbilt, and at a dead Tennessee team before finishing up against Arkansas.
T8. Utah State (3-5)
APR 978: A disastrous year might not be all that bad if the Aggies are in bowl range and can get two more wins. That’ll be tough with three of the final four games on the road, going to Wyoming, Nevada and BYU and with a home date against New Mexico.
Also in the picture depending on whether or not the other teams can get to five wins, or might be over …
11. Maryland (5-3)
APR 977: at Michigan, Ohio State, at Nebraska, Rutgers
12. Notre Dame (3-5)
APR 975: Navy (in Jacksonville), Army (in San Antonio), Virginia Tech, at USC
13. Virginia (2-6)
APR 974: at Wake Forest, Miami, at Georgia Tech, at Virginia Tech
14. Syracuse (4-4)
APR 973: at Clemson, NC State, Florida State, at Pitt
T15. South Carolina (4-4)
APR 972: Missouri, at Florida, Western Carolina, at Clemson
T15. UCLA (3-5)
APR 972: at Colorado, Oregon State, USC, at Cal
T17. Hawaii (4-5)
APR 971: at San Diego State, Boise State, at Fresno State, Massachusetts
T17. Texas (4-4)
APR 971: at Texas Tech, West Virginia, at Kansas, TCU
19. Northern Illinois (2-6)
APR 970: Bowling Green, Toledo (in Chicago), at Eastern Michigan, at Kent State
T20. Connecticut (3-6)
APR 969: Temple, at Boston College, Tulane
T20. Oregon (3-5)
APR 969: at USC, Stanford, at Utah, at Oregon State
22. Wake Forest (5-3)
APR 968: Virginia, at Louisville, Clemson, Boston College
23. Cincinnati (4-4)
APR 967: BYU, at UCF, Memphis, at Tulsa
T24. Kent State (3-6)
APR 961: Western Michigan, at Bowling Green, Northern Illinois
T24. Texas State (2-5)
APR 961: at Appalachian State, Idaho, at New Mexico State, Troy, Arkansas State