Despite the loss to North Texas, Rice football is bowl eligible. The 5-7 Owls will earn an invite to the postseason based on their APR score.
The hows and intricacies of the run-up to this moment were discussed in detail for subscribers this week, but the synopsis is this: Rice football is going bowling.
How does this work?
There aren’t enough six-win teams to fill out a complete field of 82 teams. That means the top 5-7 teams are eligible to take the open spots. Those invitations are given to teams with the highest APR (Academic Progress Rating) first and Rice sits atop that list of currently non-eligible teams.
Wins by Tennessee over Vanderbilt and Pitt over Miami ensured there’d be a spot for at least one 5-win team invited to the postseason. Should Buffalo lose to Akron next weekend, another spot would open.
There are currently some conflicting reports as to whether or not 6-6 App State (two FCS wins) would be invited over Rice with a waiver, but there’s still at least one spot remaining, even if that were to be the case.
When are bowls announced?
While UAB has already announced they are heading to the Bahamas, the majority of bowl games are typically announced the Sunday after conference championship games are complete. Rice football is most likely to find out where it’ll be heading that Sunday, although it’s always possible things get leaked or announced prior to that.
Will Rice football accept the invitation?
Technically, Rice could decline. But realistically, that seems farfetched. Rice has been to a bowl game since 2014 and set out with the expressed intent of doing that this year. Having them receive an invite under any circumstance and turn it down is extremely unlikely, regardless of anything else that might be going on with the program in the interim.
If for no other reason that rewarding the seniors and the classes that worked to get to this point, Rice football is expected to accept any invitation that comes there way.
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