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Teams below .500 will be needed for bowls again

College Football, Louisiana Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns, South Alabama Jaguars, Duke Blue Devils, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Syracuse Orange, UCLA Bruins

The door is now open for sub-.500 college football teams to play in bowls again this season.

There are 80 bowl slots to fill, and Saturday's games brought the number of bowl-eligible teams to 74. That's not including Army, which is 6-5 but can count only one of its two wins over FCS teams toward bowl eligibility.

Louisiana-Lafayette (5-6) and South Alabama (5-6) can still reach .500, but even if those two teams and Army all make bowls, there will be some sub-.500 teams needed to fill spots. Louisiana-Lafayette plays at Louisiana-Monroe next weekend, and South Alabama hosts New Mexico State.

Duke (4-8), Notre Dame (4-8), Syracuse (4-8) and UCLA (4-8) all failed in their attempts at a fifth win Saturday and potential bowl consideration.

Three teams with losing records had to be picked for bowls last season. Before last season, there had been only four such teams in the previous 20 seasons. All three teams that played in a bowl game despite a losing record last season won to finish 6-7 -- Minnesota, Nebraska and San Jose State.

Teams that became bowl eligible with victories this week included Northwestern, Vanderbilt, Boston College, Indiana and Maryland.

Information from The Associated Press was included in this report.

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