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Houston's loss opens up New Year’s Six bowl race

There is a new leader in the clubhouse for the coveted New Year’s Six bowl game.

New Mexico v Boise State Photo by Loren Orr/Getty Images

As mentioned in our weekly piece about the race for the New Year’s Six bowl game conference contests are important in determining who is in the running for one of the big bowl games.

The first domino fell with Houston losing to Navy by a score of 46-40 and at this early stage of the season no longer are clear front runner to earn the Group of Five automatics bid for a New Year’s bowl game.

By no means is Houston eliminated as they can still win the American and they still play Louisville late in the year to help their strength of schedule, so they have a chance to impress the playoff committee with another win.

The Cougars do need a lot of help since Navy is in their own division, meaning for Houston to win the division they need the Midshipman to lose two conference games to get to the American title game and a shot to win the league which is a requirement for this auto bid.

There is a lot of football left but Boise State and Western Michigan take the early lead as both are undefeated and they also each have a pair of win over Power Five teams which will help them have a stronger schedule than others.

With the season nearing the midway point we will create a pecking order of the teams among the Group of Five that and their shot to make it to the big time bowl game. This is different from our weekly Underdogs Poll.

These rankings are based on how a team will finish the season and with a conference title being requirement that takes precedent meaning this week a potential one-loss Navy will rank higher than even a one-loss Houston since the Cougars need a lot of help to just reach the American championship game.

Also, strength of schedule plays a part since that is a component that the selection committee uses, and the amount of teams ranked will vary week to week and likely get smaller the later we get into the season.

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