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DI Board approves process to fill football bowls in case of shortfall

By Greg Johnson

A new selection process to be followed only in the event that bowl-eligible teams in the Football Bowl Subdivison are exhausted was approved Thursday by the Division I Board of Directors.

The board was concerned that conferences and bowls could become overcommitted and not account for potential of bowl ineligibility due to factors beyond won-lost records, such as infractions penalties and Academic Progress Rate deficiencies.

Under the process approved Thursday, if a bowl has one or more conferences/teams unable to meet their contractual commitments and there are no available bowl-eligible teams, the open spots can be filled – by the bowl sponsoring agencies – as follows:

  • First pool: Teams that finish 6-6 but would not normally be bowl eligible because they have a win against a Football Championship Subdivison team.
  • Second pool: A team that has a 6-6 record but beat two FCS teams.
  • Third pool: A team that finished with a 6-7 record, with the seventh loss being in a conference championship game.
  • Fourth pool: A team that played 13 games but finished with a 6-7 record.
  • Fifth pool: A team in the process of reclassifying to FBS football and has at least a 6-6 record.
  • Sixth pool:  Any top 5 APR team with a 5-7 record.


A bowl will be allowed to use the extra pools of teams only one time over a four-year period. The special provision ends after four years in order to encourage bowls and institutions/conferences to avoid over commitment. Currently, 35 bowls are available for Football Bowl Subdivision teams. 

To be bowl eligible, teams must meet academic standards and have at least a 6-6 record, in which only one of the victories is against a team from the FCS.

In other business, the Board:

  • Approved an additional game in the Football Bowl Subdivision to allow student-athletes to participate in a game between the winners of two exempted postseason bowl games.