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NMSU playing in a bowl game? It’s possible! Here’s what needs to happen

EL PASO, Texas -- If at the start of the season you were told come Nov. 27th one of the two Borderland teams still had a chance of bowling this season, most would have expected that team to be UTEP.

But the Miners hopes of going bowling were destroyed by a UTSA field goal Saturday that saw them lose 34-31 and finish 5-7 on the season.

The Aggies hopes though are still alive, but there's a lot that needs to happen to see the hope come to fruition.

NMSU moved to 5-6 on the season with a 49-14 upset win over Liberty Saturday. That win didn't secure them bowl eligibility but it did keep them in the hunt.

Teams that finish with 6 or more wins automatically become bowl eligible. This season there are 79 bowl eligible teams for 82 spots, leaving 3 open spots.

Buffalo who right now are 5-6 could take 1 of those three spots if they were to win on Friday.

Usually the remaining spots would go to the highest ranked 5-7 teams - this year that would be Rice, UNLV and Auburn.

But this is where things get interesting. The Aggies never got to play a 12th game, as their game with San Jose State was cancelled due to the death of a Spartans player.

NMSU Athletic Director Mario Moccia told ABC-7 they exhausted all options in finding a replacement FBS team but fell short.

The argument is, if they had been able to play that 12th game they could have 6 wins right now and therefore be bowl eligible.

Because of this, Moccia told ABC-7 that they plan on asking the NCAA to consider NMSU above 5-7 teams, via a waiver.

It's important to note the Aggies are still trying to find a 12th game for Dec. 3rd. As of Sunday, Moccia said FCS school Valparaiso is waiting on approval from the NCAA to play a 12th game - FCS schools can usually only play 11.

If that game is played and the Aggies win they would move to 6 wins on the season, but they would still need a waiver from the NCAA to be considered bowl eligible as 2 of their 6 wins would be against FCS opponents.

Moccia told ABC-7 that he hopes they will get an answer soon from the NCAA about Valpo soon. Moccia will also address the media Monday about where things stand.

Article Topic Follows: NMSU

Rachel Phillips

Rachel Phillips is the weekend sports anchor and reporter


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