CFB Oversight Committee Recommends Waiving 2020 Bowl Eligibility Requirements

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistSeptember 24, 2020

A group of footballs waits for warmups prior to an NCAA college football game between North Carolina State and the Ball State in Raleigh, N.C., Saturday, Sept. 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)
Karl B DeBlaker/Associated Press

Anyone who has ever dreamed of seeing a winless college football team go bowling may finally get their wish this year.

On Thursday, the Football Oversight CommitteeΒ announced it recommended waiving the typical requirements to qualify for a bowl game for the 2020 season. Teams usually have to finish with a record of .500 or better against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents to qualify for a bowl game, but that will no longer be the case this year if it is approved.

The season has already been dramatically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic with teams playing different amounts of games, and that reality surely impacted this decision.

One requirement that will remain in place is that teams will have to meet the Academic Progress Rate necessary for inclusion in the postseason.

The Division I Council must approve this recommendation for it to go into effect, and it meets on Oct. 13 and 14.

"Providing a more flexible framework for the postseason in this unprecedented time will provide some certainty moving forward,” West Virginia athletic director and oversight committee chair Shane Lyons said. "These are important postseason opportunities for our student-athletes, and this will help everyone to prepare."

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This rule change will make it easier for bowl games to fill all their slots in a season that may see some teams play double-digit games and others only play a handful. There have already been a number of postponed and canceled games because of COVID-19 outbreaks within teams and very well could be more as the season progresses.

This recommendation comes on the same day the Pac-12Β announcedΒ it will begin a fall season on Nov. 6 with its teams playing seven games prior to a conference title game.

The Pac-12's announcement means all Power Five conferences are slated to play this fall. The SEC, ACC and Big 12 have already started their campaigns, while the Big Ten will begin on Oct. 24.

That, in theory, will leave them all eligible for the College Football Playoff, which will announce its four teams on Dec. 20.

While the elite teams such as Clemson, Ohio State, Alabama and Oklahoma will be fighting for those coveted spots, the rest of the country won't have to worry as much about meeting qualifications for the other bowls if this recommendation is approved.