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Syracuse football bowl watch: Checking in on the 5 win path to eligibility

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Pitt is very good. Pending an upset, can the Orange make a bowl with five wins?

NCAA Football: Syracuse at North Carolina State William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

The Syracuse Orange can’t blame anyone but themselves for their bowl eligibility situation. After dropping and ugly contest against Rutgers, and letting close games against Wake Forest, Clemson, and Florida State slip through their grasp, Cuse heads into Saturday night against a very good Pitt team needing a win to clinch bowl eligibility. This is not likely to happen, but bowl season is not locked away with a loss as of today.

Last week, we talked about there are essentially seven slots up for grabs that are available to the Orange with five wins. The problem was that were 12 teams that were projected to leapfrog the Orange to snag those spots and lock a five win Syracuse out of bowl season. Where does all that stand headed into the last week of the season?

A handful of teams punched their tickets officially with 6 wins: UNC, Georgia State, and Washington State.Northwestern lost their 8th game of the season, officially knocking them out of bowl eligibility. That leaves four spots available for Cuse, and they’re competing with Troy, Texas, Illinois, Virginia Tech, Maryland, USC, Cal, and Charlotte to qualify either by six wins or 5 and a higher APR than Cuse.

Are those odds great? Absolutely not. With USC and Cal set to square off next weekend, one of them will take a slot by virtue of traditional qualification or 5 wins and higher APR than Cuse, dropping the number of open slots to three. So before the Orange play Pitt on Saturday night, Cuse fans should be rooting for Georgia State, Kansas State, Northwestern, Virginia, Rutgers, and Old Dominion. You know, like always.