70 is a hard number.

Believe it or not, this post isn’t about Georgia’s roster size.  Nope, this number 70 is about a little problem the NCAA has made for this year’s postseason.

Once again there are 35 bowl games on the schedule this year, which of course requires at least 70 Bowl Subdivision teams to meet the minimum six-win threshold for eligibility. Trouble is, the pool is already a bit smaller than usual this season. Three schools — North Carolina, Ohio State and Penn State — are banned from the postseason because of NCAA sanctions. A fourth, Central Florida, was added to that list in an NCAA ruling this week, though that might not be in effect until the 2013 season if the school files an appeal as it has said it would. Last year, there were 72 bowl-eligible teams — barely enough — with Southern California finishing out its two-season bowl exile and Miami (Fla.) self-imposing a bowl ban for 2011.

But worry not, my friends.  Necessity is the mother of invention.  And since they’re not shrinking the bowl field, that leaves only one other way to invent.  You guessed it.  It’s waiver time!

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors acted Thursday to put waiver rules in place just in case the magic number of 70 bowl-eligible teams isn’t achieved, or if any conferences fall short of the number of eligible teams needed to fulfill contractual obligations.

First consideration would go to teams that are 6-6 but “would not normally be bowl eligible because they have a win against a Football Championship Subdivision team.” Next, 6-6 teams with two FCS wins could be considered.

Third, a team that finishes 6-7 with the seventh loss in a conference championship game (think UCLA in 2011). After that, 6-7 teams that played 13 regularly scheduled games could be considered. That often applies to Hawaii or any of the Warriors’ opponents who travel to the islands.

The next pool would consist of teams reclassifying from FCS — this year that includes South Alabama, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Georgia State — with at least a 6-6 record. If a sixth pool is needed, a bowl could invite a 5-7 team that has a top-five APR rating.

Hey, who says the NCAA can’t be flexible?  At least when there’s money at stake…


Filed under The NCAA

10 responses to “70 is a hard number.

  1. Go Dawgs!

    I love bowl games and watch a lot of really bad ones in December because I know the fun is about to be over, much like a fat man binging at the buffet the night before starting a diet. However, I can honestly say I will have a lot of trouble getting excited about the 6-7 vs. Will-Be-A-D1A-School-Someday Bowl.


  2. X-Dawg

    So the NCAA can waive a rule for ineligible bowl teams, yet Kolton Houston is still ineligible to play? WTF!


  3. Macallanlover

    Would be a great time to send the playoff winners from 1AA and let them have a go at the middling teams in 1A. Not that many fans traveling to those bowls anyway and it would put some spice into the games. These are all NCAA programs, right? I would love to see GSU and Appy tear apart a Ga Tech level team just prior to Christmas dinner. And they would be pumped.


    • adam

      I like this idea. 12 win FBS teams vs. 7-5 FCS team would be more interesting to watch than 7-5 FCS teams facing off a 6-6 or 6-7 FCS team.

      If the lower division team wins, they should get to move up without paying the fee and the loser can fall down a division. Then the teams in crappy bowls would have something to play for.


  4. Alan

    Someone call Mark Bradley, Mark Richt has lost control of NCAA bowl eligibility!!!


  5. Dante

    I personally think that if a team goes 6-7 because they lost a conference championship game, the conference should be summarily disbanded, monies should be refunded to those who actually had to watch such crappy teams play, and those who believe in such thing should pray that God have mercy on their souls, but that’s just me. I suppose a bowl waiver would work, too.


  6. Gravidy

    Viewed in a vacuum, I have no problem with crummy teams playing in a bowl game. If ESPN wants to create programming and two 5-7 teeams want to play, then I say, “More power to ’em”.

    But viewed from the “flexibility” angle, this decision is, of course, horse shit.


  7. Chopdawg

    “The next pool would consist of teams reclassifying from FCS — this year that includes South Alabama, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Georgia State…”

    Go you hairy Panthers!