The Falcons said all the right things coming into last night's game against Ohio, showing their focus was on competing for the MAC's East Division title. But who could blame BG if its glance turned towards the bowl picture?
The raw numbers seem to favor the Falcons making a bowl appearance, since 35 bowls obviously require 70 teams – and there are only 120 candidates. To oversimplify things, the "magic number" for bowl eligibility is six wins, a total 48 teams have reached – and, perhaps more importantly for BG, a number that already has eliminated 30 teams.
But from there things get tricky. There are 17 teams who need just one victory for bowl eligibility, and 20 that need just two more. Not all of the four-win teams will reach that threshold: For example, Arkansas needs two more wins but will play South Carolina, Mississippi State and LSU, so that's not going to happen. But as more teams qualify, the chances for the Falcons diminish.
What does that mean for BG? Two things: First, if the Falcons want to play in a bowl game, they need to start rooting for teams like Syracuse, Missouri and Virginia Tech to lose. Second, fans need to show bowls they will support a winning team by buying tickets for the final two games of the season. After all, having a lot of wins is nice, but bowls think buying a lot of tickets is nicer.