The NCAA’s Division I Council has mandated that all bowl-eligible teams with 6-6 records must be selected for a bowl game before any teams with a 5-7 record can be considered.
The key to this rule, decided at the Council’s Wednesday meeting in Indianapolis, is that now bowls won’t be able to select teams with losing records from Power 5 conferences over 6-6 teams from mid-major or Group of Five conferences, who end up in lesser bowl games.
The move is already a hit with some FBS head coaches:
Brian Polian’s Nevada team ended up facing another Mountain West team, Colorado State, in the Arizona Bowl last year.
After all bowl-eligible teams are selected, the 5-7 teams — which will be considered alternates — will be deemed eligible 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.
If two or more teams have a tie in the multiyear APR, then the highest APR for the most recent single year will break the tie. This process will continue until all the bowl slots are filled.
"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."
Last season, only 77 teams were eligible for the 80 bowl slots by the established criteria. The remaining three slots were filled by 5-7 teams. Those alternate teams (Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State) were selected by the bowls in which they appeared.