Football bowl eligibility likely to stay at six wins

By Kevin Kelley -

Earlier this year, conference commissioners said they wanted to implement a “winning record” requirement for teams to become bowl eligible in 2014.

But after further evaluation, that requirement appears to have been tabled and 6-6 will remain the benchmark, reported yesterday.

“I see it staying at 6-6 for the foreseeable future,” Wright Waters, executive director of the Football Bowl Association told “When commissioners went back to their conferences, they found out there’s an awful lot of support for 6-6. That’s 35 athletic directors who get an early jump on selling season tickets and 35 coaches who are talking to recruits about winning a bowl game.”

That’s good news for teams who finish .500, but bad news for college football fans that want to see compelling postseason match-ups.

But even with a 6-6 requirement to make a bowl game, there were only 72 bowl eligible teams in 2011. With a 7-5 benchmark, there would have been only 54 teams bowl eligible. USC was ineligible due to NCAA sanctions.

In 2012, four schools are banned from postseason play: North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, and UCF (appeal possible). Using the 2011 numbers, that puts the list of bowl eligible schools somewhere around 50. With 20 unfilled spots, ten bowls would be eliminated.

So you can see why the FBA will likely keep the standard at 6-6 for the foreseeable future. There are barely enough teams eligible at 6-6, and they don’t want to pink slip any bowls.

The 2012-13 college bowl season kicks off on Saturday, Dec. 15 with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.

Comments (5)

They need to pink slip about 15 bowls as 35 is way too many. Hopefully the crowds and viewership will continue to slide and that will take care of some of them. Of course with ESPN owning and broadcasting most of them this is unlikely to happen as they have turned into a monopoly which is bad for college football.

While i’m for fewer bowls. I hope only the #9 sec team is hurt and not the #2 Sun Belt team. I like to see lower conference teams in bowls compared to middle of the road big conference teams.

Come on Mississippi State and Kentucky would never get into bowls if the 6-6 records weren’t eligible

Don’t forget that while the transitioning schools (UMass, South Alabama, UTSA, and Texas State) are also ineligible, they count as FBS opponents for eligibility purposes. That might help out the Vanderbilts of the college football world, who would otherwise have to win a seventh game to be eligible.