NCAA submits rules changes to permit four-team playoff, addresses bowl eligibility

The NCAA legislative process has made the necessary changes to support the four-team, seeded playoff that begins during the 2014-2015 season.

Proposal 2012-13 specifies that one postseason game -- i.e. the national title game -- between the winners of two exempted postseason bowl games -- the semifinal games -- is exempt from the maximum number of games rule. The proposal also states that the participants in said postseason bowl games shall be selected by FBS conferences and independent institutions, paving the way for a selection committee outside of the NCAA's purview and not locking them into bowl game contracts or tie-ins.

Bylaws and 18.7.1 are both amended to permit the historic playoff.

The NCAA Division I Board of Directors received the proposal on July 10th, two weeks after the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee approved the four-team playoff in late June. The Board approved the proposal during their early August meeting and it has been submitted to a 60-day override period that will end October 1st. If not enough schools vote to force an override, the rules changes will go into effect on August 1, 2014.

Also approved by the Board and winding its way through the same legislative process is a proposal that addresses a possible situation when there not enough bowl-eligible teams to play in all the bowl games. Last season, 72 teams were eligible for 70 slots. However, going forward the association sees a number of bowl openings not being filled "due to inadequate won-loss records, infractions cases or Academic Performance Rate penalties, or other deficiencies under NCAA rules."'s Dennis Dodd reported there remains a real possibility of six programs not eligible for a bowl game.

The exceptions where a team that is not at least 6-6 and eligible for the postseason are, in order of selection:

  (a) An institution that would have met the exception in Bylaw but for the fact that one victory was against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent that had not averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grants-in-aid per year in football during a rolling two-year period and the institution's waiver request, per Bylaw, was denied.

    (b) An institution that has won a number of games against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents and two Football Championship Subdivision opponents that together is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses.

    (c) An institution that finished its regular season having met the definition of a "deserving team" or having met the exception in Bylaw but lost its conference championship game and, consequently, no longer meets the definition.

    (d) An institution that participated in 13 regular-season contests and finished the season with a record of six wins and seven losses.

    (e) An institution that is in its final year of reclassification from the Football Championship Subdivision to the Football Bowl Subdivision and meets the definition of a "deserving team" pursuant to Bylaw or the exception in Bylaw

    (f) An institution that finished its season with a minimum of five wins and a maximum of seven losses but achieved a top-five Academic Progress Rate in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the most recent reporting year.

A particular bowl game may benefit from this provision just once within the four-year period. The bowl eligibility rules changes will be effective immediately once through the override process and will expire after four years "in order to encourage bowl operators and institutions/conferences to avoid over-commitment."

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories