NORFOLK The odds are slim, and could hinge on the outcome of three games on Saturday, but Old Dominion isn’t necessarily out of the running for a bowl bid after all.

ODU lost its regular-season finale to Florida Atlantic, 33-31, Saturday at Foreman Field to finish 5-7, one victory short of bowl eligibility. However, at least two and as many as five 5-7 teams will be needed to fill all 80 bowl slots, and the NCAA has not figured out how to choose those teams.

Depending on the outcome of games, as many as 17 teams could finish 5-7. ESPN has reported that the NCAA Oversight Committee will figure out this week how those teams will be determined.

ESPN and other media outlets say the NCAA is likely to use the Academic Progress Rate — a measure of graduation rates — to rate 5-7 teams. If so, ODU’s odds lessen. ODU is ranked 11th among those 17 teams with an APR score of 951. ODU’s scores has been hurt by the team’s recent move to the Football Bowl Subdivision, which caused a number of players to transfer to other schools.

ODU coach Bobby Wilder said at his weekly press conference Monday afternoon that there is still a possibility that ODU could go to a bowl. He added that the Conference USA officials have been discussing the issue with the NCAA. Conference USA has seven bowl agreements, but only five bowl-eligible teams. C-USA would prefer to fill the two bowl games with league members.

C-USA has four 5-7 teams, including Florida International, UTEP and Rice. Rice is C-USA’s highest-rated team on the APR with a 973, tied with Illinois for sixth.

ODU athletic director Wood Selig said “from what I’ am told, all 5-7 teams are in the conversation at this point until a decision is made on how they will be selected and how many will be needed.”

Wilder said he would not be surprised if several 5-7 teams from Power 5 leagues turn down bowl bids. Wilder said that he discussed the issue Sunday with ODU President John Broderick and Selig and they agreed that the Monarchs would say yes if a bowl bid is extended.

Wilder said the benefits outweigh a potential bowl loss, which would leave ODU with a 5-8 record.

“NCAA rules would allow us to conduct 15 practices, and then play in a bowl game,” Wilder said. “That’s like having an additional spring practice.”

“We have a very young team. We have 100 of 112 players returning next season. This would do so much to help this very young football team improve.”

Wilder said ODU would not consider a bowl bid with a 5-7 record if it would cost the school money. However, Conference USA pays for travel, hotel and meals for up to 200 people to attend a bowl game.

“I told our players Sunday that the school won’t be buying expensive gear for them if we go to a bowl,” he said. “That’s for when you win six games and earn a bowl bid.”

Wilder said he would forego a bonus called for in his contract if ODU goes to a bowl.

“It’s hard to say what our chances are, Wilder said. “Something like this has never happened before.”

ODU finished 6-6 last season, its first in Conference USA, but because the Monarchs were in their final transition season into the Football Bowl Subdivision, they could only go to a bowl game if there weren’t enough teams otherwise eligible.

In all, 86 teams were bowl eligible last season, and so far, only 75 have become eligible this season. Three games Saturday will determine whether two or five teams are needed: West Virginia at Kansas State (5-6), Georgia State (5-6) at Georgia Southern and Appalachian State at South Alabama (5-6). All three 5-6 teams are underdogs.