HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- There's a good chance that Conference USA Commissioner Britton Banowsky could find himself with more bowl-eligible teams that he'd know what to do with. Well, that's not exactly true. He knows what to do with them - find them all good homes in the postseason once the rest of the conferences shake out.
That's not a bad problem to have if you can get seven or maybe eight of your 14 teams into bowls in one year. Marshall's win over the University of Alabama at Birmingham gave C-USA a definite six, filling up the conference's guaranteed bowl slots.
Florida Atlantic has a soft enough schedule to potentially win out and become the seventh. Louisiana Tech could pull some upsets and get to six wins. And if the Football Bowl Subdivision can't field 70 eligible teams for its bowls (though it likely will), the University of Texas at San Antonio could sneak in to the picture.
But here's the flipside: For as many C-USA teams that could make the bowl list, how many are found on the Top 25 lists of college football, even in the "also receiving votes" group?
Not in the Associated Press writers poll. Not in the USA Today coaches poll. Not in the Harris Poll. The American Athletic Conference is represented in all three. So are the Mid-American and the Mountain West. Even Sun Belt member Louisiana-Lafayette picked up a couple of votes in the Harris and coaches polls.
C-USA is on the outside looking in at all of them, and that's what makes this quantity-versus-quality debate. C-USA has plenty of teams that could slide into the bowl picture, but none powerful enough to climb into the national conversation. There hasn't been one since Houston made its run into the top 10 in 2011.
"That was a great year for the conference," Banowsky said Saturday in the Joan C. Edwards Stadium press box. "It showed we have high-quality football. Historically, we've been beating ourselves up."
To be honest, this year, plenty of non-conference teams have been doing the same.