Photo courtesy of Mississippi State athletics
During the final week of the regular season, a pair of SEC teams reached magic win No. 6, but in both cases, the victory came with a caveat.
In the only FBS game played on Thanksgiving, Mississippi State improved to 6-6 with a 21-20 win over rival Ole Miss in the in-state showdown known as the “Egg Bowl.” The victory for the Bulldogs came with a now-infamous gaffe from the Rebels.
Mississippi State clung to a 21-14 lead in the final seconds before Ole Miss quarterback Matt Corral hit Elijah Moore for a 2-yard touchdown with four seconds to play. During his celebration, Moore simulated urinating in the Mississippi State end zone and was penalized 15 years, forcing kicker Luke Logan to try a 35-yard extra point.
Logan’s kick sailed wide and the Bulldogs prevailed to become bowl eligible. Mississippi State will play in a bowl for a program record 10th straight season.
Missouri hoped to be playing for bowl contention when it visited Arkansas on Friday, but just days before the contest, the NCAA announced that it was upholding Missouri’s bowl ban. The Tigers had to settle for a .500 finish as they scored the game’s final 14 points in a 24-14 victory over the Razorbacks.
With Missouri’s bowl ban, the SEC will send nine teams to bowl games. That’s tied with the Big Ten for second-most among Power 5 conferences behind only the ACC, which had 10 bowl-eligible teams.
- Bowl-Eligible: Clemson (12-0), Virginia (9-3), Virginia Tech (8-4), Wake Forest (8-4), Louisville (7-5), Pittsburgh (7-5), Boston College (6-6), Florida State (6-6), Miami (6-6), North Carolina (6-6)
- Eliminated: Duke (5-7), Syracuse (5-7), NC State (4-8), Georgia Tech (3-9)
- Overview: Boston College and North Carolina both pulled off wins in the regular season finale to become bowl-eligible. The 10 bowl-eligible teams is the most among Power 5 conferences.
Big 12 (6)
- Bowl-Eligible: Baylor (11-1), Oklahoma (11-1), Kansas State (8-4), Oklahoma State (8-4), Iowa State (7-5), Texas (7-5)
- Eliminated: TCU (5-7), West Virginia (5-7), Texas Tech (4-8), Kansas (3-9)
- Overview: TCU’s 20-17 home loss to West Virginia gives the Big 12 six bowl-eligible teams – least among Power 5 conferences.
Big Ten (9)
- Bowl-Eligible: Ohio State (12-0), Minnesota (10-2), Penn State (10-2), Wisconsin (10-2), Iowa (9-3), Michigan (9-3), Indiana (8-4), Illinois (6-6), Michigan State (6-6)
- Eliminated: Nebraska (5-7), Purdue (4-8), Maryland (3-9), Northwestern (3-9), Rutgers (2-10)
- Overview: Michigan State topped Maryland 19-16 to earn bowl eligibility. Nebraska missed an opportunity to play in a bowl as it lost to Iowa on a last-second field goal.
- Bowl-Eligible: Utah (11-1), Oregon (10-2), USC (8-4), Arizona State (7-5), California (7-5), Washington (7-5), Washington State (6-6)
- Eliminated: Colorado (5-7), Oregon State (5-7), Arizona (4-8), Stanford (4-8), UCLA (4-8)
- Overview: Colorado and Oregon State both missed opportunities to become bowl-eligible. The two schools lost to the teams participating in the Pac-12 title game.
- Bowl-Eligible: LSU (12-0), Georgia (11-1), Alabama (10-2), Florida (10-2), Auburn (9-3), Kentucky (7-5), Tennessee (7-5), Texas A&M (7-5), Mississippi State (6-6)
- Eliminated: Missouri (6-6)*, Ole Miss (4-8), South Carolina (4-8), Vanderbilt (3-9), Arkansas (2-10)
- Overview: Mississippi State topped Ole Miss to become bowl eligible. Missouri also bested Arkansas to get to six wins, but the NCAA upheld a bowl ban to keep the Tigers out of postseason play.
*Ruled ineligible for postseason by NCAA