A National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA) panel decided on Wednesday to adjust the way teams are selected and assigned to bowl games. The new decision is set to interfere directly with the 2016-17 season.
The Division I Council, the one in charge of managing the NCAA’s athletics programs, determined that all bowl-eligible teams with 6-6 records must be selected for a bowl game before any teams with a 5-6 record can be considered, according to a press release from the NCAA.
According to the statement, after all, eligible teams were already selected, the 5-7 teams will become available in descending order from the highest multiyear Academic Progress Rate in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the most recent reporting year. Those teams will then select the bowl in which they will participate, the NCAA added.
“It is impossible to project how many eligible bowl teams we will have,” commented Bob Bowlsby, chair of the football oversight committee and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. “We think we have a selection process in the postseason that makes sense and is fair to the schools and the bowls.”
If a tie were to take place in the selection process within the multiyear APR, then the highest APR for the most recent single year will be able to break the tie. The process then will continue until all the places for the bowl are taken.
Better qualified teams overall
The move came after last season three teams with records 5-7 earned a postseason game due to there were not enough 6-6 teams that were eligible for the massive bowl slate, as reported by the United Press International.
However, the changes make it impossible for the bowl committees to pass up on better-qualified teams for an alternate based on other external reasons, such as perceived market superiority, name recognition or other non-performance factors.
Some experts have well received the decision in the area. That assured this would be for the benefit of the teams and acknowledging that a better-performed team should be better recognized.
Bowlsby commented as well that the committee thought about raising the bowl-eligibility to 7-7, although it was decided that a request like that would most likely put several bowls out of business, due to there would not be enough teams eligible among those conditions and postseason structure.
Over the last season, only 77 teams were eligible for the 80 bowls slots by the established criteria. The remaining slots were fulfilled by 5-7 teams, which were selected by the bowls in which they had appeared. The other teams were the University of Nebraska, Lincoln; University of Minnesota, Twin Cities; and San Jose State University.
Early this year the council had placed a moratorium over the certification of new bowl games, in which they clarified that no new bowl games would be played before the 2020 football season, according to the press release from the NCAA.