The Division I Championships/Sports Management Cabinet at its meeting June 26-27 approved a change to the NCAA Simple Rating System that standardizes the number of games played in the Football Championship Subdivision.
The rating system was introduced in the 2013 season as a tool for the Division I Football Committee to use when evaluating, selecting and seeding teams in the championship. But the system did not standardize the data based on whether an institution played 11 or 12 regular-season games. The football committee believes such standardization will equalize all teams on a weekly basis throughout the season and add consistency to the process.
The football committee also wanted margins of victory to factor into the NCAA Simple Rating System. To guard against unsportsmanlike behaviors, the committee proposed that any advantages from that element of the formula be capped at 21 points so teams would not be motivated to run up the score to benefit in the selection process.
But the cabinet members, concerned about too many unintended consequences, did not approve the margin-of-victory portion of the recommendation.
Cabinet members did approve increasing the minimum financial guarantees after the first round of the championship. The guarantees have increased as follows: $40,000 for second-round games (up from $30,000); $50,000 for quarterfinals (up from $40,000); and $60,000 for semifinals (up from $50,000).
Field hockey seeding
The cabinet agreed to allow the Division I Field Hockey Committee to seed and separate 50 percent of the bracket and remove the policy of avoiding second-round matchups with teams from the same conference except when five or more teams from the same conference are in the bracket.
The field hockey committee believes the integrity of the bracket has been compromised in the past due to the geographic parameters placed on the matchups.
The ability to seed and separate the top eight teams in a 16-team bracket allows matchups that align the teams’ true strengths. Teams would be rewarded with matchups centered on their body of work rather than playing an opponent, especially in the second round, based on geography alone. The field hockey committee felt the integrity of the matchups is more important than separating conference opponents for two rounds.
The cabinet highlighted the field hockey committee’s assertion that the change would not negatively impact the Association’s budget.
Bowling automatic qualifications
After reviewing the Bowling Committee’s plan for implementing automatic qualification, the cabinet approved a recommendation to change bowling from an individual team sport to a team sport. An individual team sport names both individual and team champions.
The bowling championship has not had an individual component in its 11-year history. While the Bowling Committee would consider adding an individual component to the championship in the future (depending on sponsorship growth and funding), members agreed that establishing bowling as a team sport is the necessary first step in addressing automatic qualification.
The cabinet’s working groups continued their work in reviewing key areas under their purview, such as sports sponsorship, championships travel and policies, and procedures related to the administration of championships.
The purpose of the review is to ensure a responsible transition if a new governance structure is adopted in Division I.
In addition, the cabinet will continue to vet issues in these areas and, if needed, is ready to collaborate further with the NCAA Division I Collegiate Commissioners Association on potential recommendations.