The NCAA Division I Council on Monday approved a one-time process in which the Division I Football Oversight Committee will identify 5-7 teams with the highest Academic Progress Rates to bring the total of eligible bowl teams to 80 or 81. The multi-year APR scores used will be from the 2013-14 academic year, the most recent year for which the scores are publicly available.
Teams that finished with five wins are needed to fill additional bowl slots this year. So far, 75 teams – five short of the 80 needed – have met the required six wins for bowl eligibility. Kansas State University, Georgia State University and the University of South Alabama could also reach their sixth victories this weekend.
If all three reach bowl eligibility, the number of bowl-eligible teams would still fall short of the 80 teams needed to fulfill all bowl games. All teams eligible for postseason play and reaching six victories will be selected.
In its discussion, the Council recognized the NCAA does not manage bowl contracts, which are agreements between bowls and conferences. Accordingly, the Division I Football Oversight Committee will not be involved in the process of selecting teams to bowl games but will create a pool of teams that are eligible to be selected by bowls looking for teams.
Implemented in 2003 as part of an ambitious academic reform effort in Division I, the NCAA Academic Progress Rate holds schools accountable for the academic progress of their college athletes through a team-based report card that accounts for the eligibility and retention of each student-athlete for each academic term.
The current Academic Progress Rate scores for teams with five wins are:
• Nebraska (985)
• Kansas State (976)
• Missouri (976)
• Minnesota (975)
• San Jose State (975)
• Illinois (973)
• Rice (973)
The Football Oversight Committee is planning to form a task force in January to study bowl eligibility in the future.