The latest update on WKU’s bowl hopes

Senior running back Braxston Miller celebrates after a touchdown in WKU’s 41-18 win over Troy.

Brad Stephens

Coming into Saturday there were 64 teams eligible for the 70 total spots provided by the Football Bowl Subdivision’s 35 bowls.

There are now 71 teams eligible for those bowl slots.

The Toppers are one of those 71 teams, and they helped their at-large bowl possibilities with a 41-18 home win over Troy.

WKU Head Coach Willie Taggart made his pitch after the game for his team, which has won seven of its last eight games (the one loss coming at No. 1 Louisiana State) to receive a bowl invitation.

It would be WKU’s first bowl since joining the FBS as a full member in 2009.

“You look at where we’ve come from within three years to be bowl eligible and doing what we’re doing, why wouldn’t you want us?” Taggart said. “It’s one of the great stories out there.”

Several games played on Saturday affected WKU bowl hopes in both positive and negative ways. They’re listed below.

Positive for WKU:

Cincinnati 30, Syracuse 13. The Orange (5-6) loss means that either they or Pittsburgh (5-6) will be ineligible for a bowl after the teams meet on Dec. 3. That could open a potential Big East Conference slot in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl (Dec. 17, St. Petersburg, Fla.), or the BBVA Compass Bowl (Jan. 7, Birmingham) for WKU.

Kentucky 10, Tennessee 7. The Tennessee (5-7) loss means that UT is ineligible to qualify for a bowl. That could open up a potential Southeastern Conference slot in the Liberty Bowl (Dec. 31, Memphis, Tenn.), or the BBVA Compass Bowl for WKU.

Baylor 66, Texas Tech 44. The Texas Tech (5-7) loss means the Raiders are ineligible to qualify for a bowl. This keeps them out of the pool of at-large bowl teams, giving the Toppers less competition for a bowl berth.

Negative for WKU:

Connecticut 40, Rutgers 22. The Huskies (5-6) could become bowl eligible with a win over Cincinnati on Dec. 3.

North Carolina State 56, Maryland 41. The Wolfpack (7-5) are now bowl eligible.

Utah State 21, Nevada 17. The Aggies (6-5) are now bowl eligible.

Purdue 33, Indiana 25. The Boilermakers (6-6) are now bowl eligible.

Vanderbilt 41, Wake Forest 7. The Commodores (6-6) are now bowl eligible.

Air Force 45, Colorado State 21. The Falcons (7-5) are now bowl eligible.

Mississippi State 31, Mississippi 3. The Bulldogs (6-6) are now bowl eligible.