All bowl-eligible teams with 6-6 records must be chosen for a bowl game before any teams with a 5-7 record can be considered, a rule the NCAA’s Division I Council implemented on Wednesday for the 2016-17 season.
The decision comes following a season in which only 77 teams were eligible for the 80 bowl slots. Three 5-7 teams were granted waivers to play in bowl games because of their APR scores, and all of them — Nebraska, Minnesota and San Jose State — won.
Now, only after all bowl-eligible teams are selected can teams with 5-7 records be considered, and their eligibility will again be determined by the highest, most-recent multiyear APR scores. Those teams will then select the bowl in which they will participate.
“It’s impossible to project how many eligible bowl teams we will have,” Big 12 conference commissioner and chair of the football oversight committee Bob Bowlsby said in a statement released by the NCAA. “We think we have a selection process in the postseason that makes sense and is fair to the schools and the bowls.”
If two or more 5-7 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.
The football oversight committee created a “bowl working group” to study the issue this offseason and made the recommendation to the Council, which met Wednesday in Indianapolis.
In April, the Council placed a moratorium on the certification of new bowl games. No new bowl games will be played before the 2020 football season.