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November 7, 2007

Like many basketball teams in February, there are several college football teams that are on the brink of earning an opportunity to play in the postseason. Odds are, many on this list will reach the six-win plateau necessary to qualify for a bowl bid. However, a few of these schools face a tough stretch to close the season.

Here's an alphabetical list of teams needing just one more victory to qualify for postseason eligibility. We'll update the list each week adding teams that make it to five wins and moving the newly bowl-eligible teams to the list on the bottom.

Rivals.com Bowl Bubble Watch
BALL STATE (5-5)
Remaining schedule: vs. Toledo; at Northern Illinois
Why they will make it: QB Nate Davis has thrown for more than 200 yards in eight games, and neither Toledo nor Northern Illinois is strong against the pass. They've combined to allow 40 touchdown passes.
Why they won't: The Cardinals have allowed at least 28 points in five games this season.
BOWLING GREEN (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at Eastern Michigan; at Buffalo; vs. Toledo
Why they will make it: No teams that currently have winning records are left on the schedule.
Why they won't: The Falcons rank 98th in the nation in scoring defense.
COLORADO (5-5)
Remaining schedule: at Iowa State; vs. Nebraska
Why they will make it: The Buffaloes remaining opponents have a combined six victories.
Why they won't make it: The Buffs are limping to the end of the season, having lost three of their past four.
GEORGIA TECH (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at Duke; vs. North Carolina; vs. Georgia.
Why they will make it: Duke and North Carolina have combined for four wins.
Why they won't: Neither Duke nor North Carolina are easy victories ask Miami.
IOWA (5-5)
Remaining schedule: vs. Minnesota; vs. Western Michigan.
Why they will make it: Hawkeyes have won two straight, and their next two opponents have combined for four victories.
Why they won't: Maybe Minnesota and Western Michigan are due to post upsets.
KANSAS STATE (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at Nebraska; vs. Missouri; at Fresno State.
Why they will make it: Check Nebraska's defensive statistics.
Why they won't: The Wildcats just lost to Iowa State, which lost to Nebraska.
LOUISVILLE (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at West Virginia; at USF; vs. Rutgers.
Why they will make it: QB Brian Brohm is having an excellent year, and the Cardinals owe Rutgers some payback for thwarting their national-championship bid last season.
Why they won't: Louisville's defense is bad, and West Virginia, USF and Rutgers average more than 31 points per game.
MIAMI (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Virginia; at Virginia Tech; at Boston College.
Why they will make it: Five of Virginia's eight victories were by two points or less. And there is that 15-game winning streak over Boston College.
Why they won't: The Hurricanes appear to have blown their best chance by losing last week to NC State.
MIAMI (OHIO) (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Akron; at Ohio
Why they will make it: The Red Hawks are 4-1 in the MAC and in the driver's seat in the East Division.
Why they won't: The remaining opponents are intrastate rivals.
MICHIGAN STATE (5-5)
Remaining schedule: at Purdue; vs. Penn State.
Why they will make it: Purdue's defense has had trouble stopping strong rushing teams, and with Javon Ringer and Jehuu Caulcrick, the Spartans can run.
Why they won't: The Spartans have lost five of six, including three in a row, so there's not much reason to believe they will defeat either of the two bowl-eligible opponents they will face.
MISSISSIPPI STATE (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Alabama; at Arkansas; vs. Ole Miss.
Why they will make it: Auburn and Kentucky will testify that the Bulldogs are no longer pushovers, and QB Wesley Carroll has upgraded what was a glaring weakness.
Why they won't: Upcoming opponents likely have learned from the mistakes of others and won't overlook the Bulldogs.
NAVY (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at North Texas; vs. Northern Illinois; vs. Army in Baltimore.
Why they will make it: The next two opponents are 2-15 combined.
Whey they won't: The loss to Division I-AA Delaware and close wins over struggling Duke, Notre Dame and Pitt shows no Navy victory can be assumed.
NORTHWESTERN (5-5)
Remaining schedule: vs. Indiana; at Illinois.
Why they will make it: The Wildcats have more to play for than their opponents.
Why they won't: Northwestern has given up 21 touchdown passes and must some how stop Indiana WR James Hardy, who has 13 touchdown grabs.
OKLAHOMA STATE (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Kansas; at Baylor; at Oklahoma.
Why they will make it: The Cowboys just need a win over Baylor.
Why they won't: The Cowboys could have trouble rebounding from that fourth-quarter collapse against Texas last week.
OREGON STATE (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Washington; at Washington State; at Oregon.
Why they will make it: The Beavers' next two opponents have combined for two victories in the Pac-10.
Why they won't: Star TB Yvenson Bernard has a sore shoulder, which could limit his effectiveness.
RUTGERS (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at Army, vs. Pittsburgh; at Louisville.
Why they will make it: The Scarlet Knights' three remaining opponents are struggling.
Why they won't: Rutgers' defense has allowed more than 30 points in each of its past two games, and quarterback play has been inconsistent.
SOUTHERN MISS (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Memphis; at UTEP; vs. Arkansas State.
Why they will make it: The Golden Eagles haven't endured a losing season since 1993.
Why they won't: All remaining opponents have hopes of attaining bowl eligibility, too.
TCU (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at BYU; vs. UNLV; at San Diego State.
Why they will make it: The Frogs are 4-1 at home and still play UNLV, which is 1-3 on the road.
Why they won't: BYU leads the Mountain West Conference, and UNLV and San Diego State both have the ability to pull an upset.
TOLEDO (5-5)
Remaining schedule: at Ball State; at Bowling Green.
Why they will make it: The soaring Rockets have won their past three and have scored 165 points in that stretch.
Why they won't: Toledo allows an average of 39.3 points per game, which ranks 115th in the nation.
UCLA (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Arizona State; vs. Oregon; at USC.
Why they will make it: The Bruins already have beaten bowl-bound BYU and California.
Why they won't: QB Patrick Cowan is hurt, and the remaining schedule consists of teams ranked in the top 12.
VANDERBILT (5-4)
Remaining schedule: vs. Kentucky; at Tennessee; vs. Wake Forest.
Why they will make it: A near-miss against Georgia and a win over South Carolina shows the Commodores are on par with other good teams.
Why they won't: Each of the remaining opponents is 6-3.
WYOMING (5-4)
Remaining schedule: at Utah; vs. BYU; at Colorado State.
Why they will make it: There is that closing game against 1-8 Colorado State
Why they won't: QB Karsten Sween has thrown 15 interceptions and 12 touchdown passes.

BOWL ELIGIBLE TEAMS
Air Force
Alabama
Arizona State
Arkansas
Auburn
Boise State
Boston College
BYU
Central Michigan
Cincinnati
Clemson
Connecticut
East Carolina
Florida
Florida State
Fresno State
Georgia
Hawaii
Houston
Illinois
Indiana
Kansas
Kentucky
LSU
Michigan
Missouri
New Mexico
Ohio State
Oklahoma
Oregon
Penn State
Purdue
South Carolina
South Florida
Southern California
Tennessee
Texas
Texas A&M
Texas Tech
Troy
Tulsa
UCF
Utah
Virginia
Virginia Tech
Wake Forest
West Virginia
Wisconsin

Olin Buchanan is the senior college football writer for Rivals.com. He can be reached at olin@rivals.com.



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