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New Year’s Six Bowl game race: Houston remains in the hunt after close win

Houston was nearly eliminated but their defense held Tulsa at the 1-yard line.

Tulsa v Houston Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Group of Five race for a New Year’s Six bowl race is fairly clear if we are predicting a team at this moment. An undefeated Boise State still is in the drivers seat and ahead of Western Michigan who also have no losses, and the advanced stats show that the Broncos in the Mountain West have the edge.

Looking at those numbers from Football Study Hall, Houston has the highest at No. 20 with Boise State at 26. However, the Cougars have one league loss and need help from Navy to lose twice, or hope for a slew of one-loss teams and the Cougars win the tie-breaker.

That point was almost moot as Houston was nearly upset at home to Tulsa but their defense came up huge to stuff the Golden Hurricane within the 1-yard line with no time left to stay in the race for a New Year’s Bowl game.

Boise State overcame a slow start against Colorado State where they scored just seven first half points and barely edged the Rams; while Western Michigan dominated Akron by winning 41-0.

There are a few changes this week in the list due to taking a closer look at one’s remaining schedule. South Florida moves up to three because they are in the easier East Division.

Dropping out are Tulsa who lost that game to Houston as they now have two losses overall, and one new addition is Troy who has one loss. However, the early Sun Belt leaders need a lot of help and probably would be behind even a two-loss team like Houston, Western Michigan, Boise State, San Diego State or Navy.

Back to the scheduling scenarios, San Diego State climbs the poll a few spots compared to last weeks rankings as the West Division of the Mountain West is not strong.

  1. Undefeated Boise State
  2. Undefeated Western Michigan
  3. One-loss South Florida
  4. One-loss Navy
  5. One-loss Memphis
  6. One-lose Houston
  7. One-loss Boise State
  8. One-loss San Diego State
  9. One-loss Toledo
  10. One-loss Western Michigan
  11. One-loss Troy