Illinois football fails to earn bowl berth

By Charlotte Carroll, Staff writer

Illinois football will not be going bowling this year.

Though the Illini finished with a 5-7 record, there was a chance the team could reach a bowl game because of the lack of teams with six wins. In the end, 77 teams with six wins were eligible to fill 80 bowl spots.

The NCAA announced last week it would use school’s academic progress rate to determine which teams would be eligible to fill the remaining spots. Nebraska led the group of 5-7 teams at 985, followed by Missouri at 976, Minnesota and San Jose State at 975 and Illinois and Rice at 973. Missouri announced it would decline a bowl game due to its coaching transition.

Kansas State and Georgia State both won their games Saturday, earning six wins and a bowl spot. Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State will be heading to bowl games because of their APR rankings.

The Big Ten has 10 teams heading to bowl games this year, including Nebraska and Minnesota. Six teams are ranked in the AP top-25 poll.

No. 3 Michigan State will be looking for the College Football Playoff title when it faces No. 2 Alabama in the Cotton Bowl Classic national semifinal.

Last year’s national champions, Ohio State, will play Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl. Iowa will take on Stanford in the Rose Bowl Game and Michigan will play Florida in the Citrus Bowl.

Northwestern will face Tennessee in the Outback Bowl, Wisconsin will play USC in the Holiday Bowl, Indiana will play Duke in the Pinstripe Bowl, Minnesota will play Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl, Penn State will face Georgia in the TaxSlayer Bowl and Nebraska will play UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl.

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