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Greg Johnson | | June 13, 2018

Primary bowl commitment numbers set

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After months of deliberation, the Division I Football Oversight Committee agreed to use a four-year average of historical bowl eligibility data to determine the number of primary bowl commitments each Football Bowl Subdivision conference may reasonably contract for the bowl cycle spanning the 2020-21 to 2025-26 seasons. 

The committee, which met this week in Indianapolis, explored numerous scenarios to determine the appropriate number for each conference. 

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Committee members affirmed that the definition of a “deserving team” should remain as a team that has won a number of games against FBS opponents that is equal to or greater than the number of its overall losses (a record of 6-6 or better). FBS teams can still count one victory against a Football Championship Subdivision opponent toward meeting the “deserving team” requirement, provided the opponent averaged 90 percent of the permissible maximum number of grants-in-aid per year in football during a rolling two-year period.

If there are not enough “deserving teams” to fill all the certified bowl games in a given season, the existing exceptions remain available. These exceptions continue to include, as a final option, permitting teams into bowls with 5-7 records, provided they achieved a multiyear Academic Progress Rate allowing postseason participation. Eligible teams will be ranked in descending order based on multiyear APR. 

Bowls also will be subject to annual reporting to ensure they remain in solid financial standing. 

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“We struck that balance, and we wanted to strengthen the bowls,” said Bob Bowlsby, committee chair and commissioner of the Big 12 Conference. “We want to have better reporting to make sure bowl games are financially sound, and they are appropriately represented in terms of having them meet NCAA requirements, so they remain strong entities and serve the collegiate community.”

The new process requires autonomy five conferences to allocate one of their allowable commitments to account for participation in the College Football Playoff agreement.

In order for a postseason football bowl game to be considered for NCAA certification, it will be required to have a historically supported commitment from two conferences and/or independent institutions.

The total allowable primary bowl commitments each FBS conference and independent institutions can have for the next cycle:

Conference Total allowable primary bowl commitments 
American Athletic Conference 7
Atlantic Coast Conference 11
Big 12 Conference 7
Big Ten Conference 9
Conference USA 7
Mid-American Conference 6
Mountain West Conference 6
Pac-12 Conference 8
Southeastern Conference 11
Sun Belt Conference 5
Independents 0
Army West Point 1
Brigham Young 1


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