Georgia Tech and the ACC last week filed for a waiver seeking relief from a new NCAA rule that would keep the Yellow Jackets from a bowl if they lose Saturday's ACC championship game, the conference told CBSSports.com.
The school and league crafted the waiver after it became apparent Tech could finish 6-7 by losing the championship game against Florida State. Miami removed itself from bowl consideration last week automatically elevating the Jackets to becoming the Coastal Division representative against the Florida State on Saturday. Miami's decision came when Georgia Tech was 6-5. A loss Saturday would drop Tech to 6-7.
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Under an NCAA rule adopted almost five months ago, Georgia Tech would not be able to go to a bowl with a sub-.500 record because there are enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all 70 slots in 35 bowls. The NCAA this year established a list of criteria for qualification in the event there aren't enough bowl-eligible teams. Third on that list, is “A team that finished with a 6-7 record, with the seventh loss being in a conference championship game.”
However, since the 70 bowl slots are filled, Tech and the ACC are thought to be seeking relief from the rule itself using the Miami decision as a mitigating factor. If Georgia Tech is allowed a berth, that would leave as many as two bowl-eligible teams without a postseason home. UConn and Pittsburgh could become bowl eligible this week.
The NCAA bowl licensing subcommittee allowed UCLA a waiver after a similar occurrence last year. The Bruins were inserted into the first Pac-12 championship game because USC, which had the South Division's best record, wasn't eligible to go to a bowl. UCLA lost to Oregon, finished 6-7 and then was selected to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco.
UCLA finished 6-8. Western Kentucky at 7-5, among other bowl-eligible teams, was not selected.
Since then, the subcommittee has been disbanded. The current NCAA rule was adopted in August, basically to address situations like the current one: There are four teams ineligible for bowls impacting the ability to fill those 70 slots (Ohio State, Penn State, North Carolina, Miami). Central Florida appealed a 2012 bowl ban, most likely delaying the ban for 2013.