Bad news for South Carolina

The NCAA takes a preemptive step towards keeping South Carolina from its bowl destiny.

4. NCAA puts bowls on notice: The NCAA sent out an interesting letter to all the bowls last week. The letter essentially said that while the NCAA has certified 34 bowls for next season, that certification does not guarantee that a team will be available for any bowl. It is a pre-emptive move by the NCAA to ward off litigation in case there aren’t enough teams with at least six wins to fill the bowls. Some of the bowl execs I talked to want to know: “If you were worried about having enough teams, why did you certify two more bowls?”

This could get nasty. Right now a bowl cannot take a team unless it has a 6-6 record or better. This December a bowl could be in a situation where it has to petition the NCAA for a waiver to take a 5-7 team. If that happens the NCAA will get hammered in the court of public opinion. And it should.

Personally, I’m a little conflicted on this. I don’t really care who gets to play in the Podunk Bowl. It’s an exhibition game, fer Crissakes. But keeping Spurrier & Co. out of the postseason does have its merits.

Wait a minute – what am I thinking? How much mileage would I get out of South Carolina (or Georgia Tech, for that matter) being the first first SEC school with a losing record to play in a bowl game?

Sign me up.

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7 Comments

Filed under College Football, It's Just Bidness, The NCAA

7 responses to “Bad news for South Carolina

  1. dean

    How sweet would it be if USuCk and the nerds played each other in the Podunk bowl? Both with losing records. Oh the fun.

  2. Pingback: DawgsOnline » Why should bowls require winning records?

  3. JasonC

    RE: DawgsOnline
    If we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings or esteem, then the NCAA can pass out Certificates of Participation to all the college football teams, but there is no reason to add more bowl games to do it.

    Yes, I realize it is a money decision, but give me a freakin’ break. Bowls and/or playoffs should be a reward for teams that succeeded on the field.

  4. I think some blame should probably also go to the newly minted bowl exec’s, who are only just now staring blankly at each other and asking “Wait a minute, you mean we actually need eligible teams???”

    The little sliver of college football anarchist in me just titters with glee at the thought of the crew from the Dr. Scholl’s Bowl anxiously watching 5-6 Memphis take on 4-7 Houston, just hoping and praying that the Tigers will pull it out so they can even have a game.

  5. Xon

    I hate to disagree with your otherwise excellent post, but I believe that North Texas played in the New Orleans Bowl with a losing record (I’m thinking 2001 or 2002). As champs of the Sun Belt, there was no petition to the NCAA required. But they were 5-6. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened again since, but now the Sun Belt has enough teams to play an 8-game conference schedule, so the best team in the conf can usually get enough wins to overcome the buttkicking they take out of conference. (If you can go 6-2 in the Sun Belt, a reasonable record for the conf champ even if all the teams are equally sucky, then losing by an average score of 63-10 in your four OOC games will still leave you with a 6-6 record). Back a few years ago before all the wacky realignments and such, I think the Sun Belt only had like 7 or 8 teams.

  6. Nice catch, Xon.

    Here’s what Wikipedia says about that:

    North Texas won the conference’s automatic bowl bid because it won the head-to-head game against Middle Tennessee. Also, North Texas had a losing overall record in 2001 and was not technically bowl-eligible, but the NCAA granted the team an exemption because it had won the conference. This is similar to what is granted to a basketball or baseball team which has a losing overall record but wins its conference tournament.

    I amend my comment accordingly. ;)

  7. I did a little more digging and found that there were two other occasions when teams with losing records played in a bowl game:

    3 — Teams with losing records to appear in bowl games, including 5-6 North Texas before its 45-14 New Orleans Bowl loss to Colorado State. William & Mary, which was coached to a 5-6 record by Lou Holtz in 1970, lost to Toledo in the Tangerine Bowl. In 1963, a 4-6 SMU team lost to Oregon in the Sun Bowl.

    So now I’m wondering what the big deal is in the first place about letting a team with a losing record play in a bowl game…