NCAA implements bowl-selection rule favoring 6-6 teams
Auburn kicker Chandler Brooks (29) runs past the official Chick-fil-A Bowl logo at midfield during an NCAA football practice at the Georgia Dome on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, in Atlanta. Virginia will face Auburn for the 44th annual Chick-fil-A Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011. (AP Photo/David Tulis)
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) The NCAA has cleared up its bowl-selection process, assuring that no eligible teams with .500 records are passed over for postseason play in favor of more well-known schools with fewer than six wins.
The new rule, which was implemented by the NCAA's Division I Council on Wednesday, will be put in place for the upcoming season and says bowl-eligible teams with 6-6 records must be selected for bowl games before any 5-7 teams are considered.
The NCAA's football oversight committee first made the recommendation for the new rule to the council, following a season that saw only 77 teams eligible for the 80 bowl slots. The three remaining slots were filled by 5-7 teams – Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State.
''It's impossible to project how many eligible bowl teams we will have,'' said 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.''
The council placed a moratorium on new bowl games in April, assuring that no new games will be played before the 2020 season.
Despite the hold on any postseason expansion, the NCAA's football oversight committee recommended the rule as a way to clearly define the bowl-selection process in the event last year's lack of eligible teams proves to be an aberration.
The council agreed, and it also defined the process by which any 5-7 teams would be considered for postseason play – using the multiyear Academic Progress Rate in Football Bowl Subdivision as the selection criteria. Teams with the highest multiyear APR will be considered first, followed in descending order by others in the category.
Should there be a tie in multiyear APR, the team with the highest score in the most recent single year will have the selection edge.
Despite entering the postseason with sub-.500 records, Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State each won their bowl games last season.
The Cornhuskers defeated UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl, while Minnesota beat Central Michigan in the Quick Lane Bowl and San Jose State topped Georgia State in the Autonation Cure Bowl.