The Division I Football Oversight Committee recommended waiving the requirements for bowl eligibility for the 2020-21 bowl season Thursday.
To be eligible for a postseason bowl, a team must meet the criteria to be considered a deserving team, which is generally defined as having a .500 overall record against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents. The Football Oversight Committee’s recommendation would eliminate that requirement for the 2020-21 season. For the 2020-21 bowl season only, postseason games could be played Dec. 1, 2020-Jan. 11, 2021.
Schools must continue to meet Academic Progress Rate requirements for postseason eligibility.
The committee’s recommendation requires approval by the Division I Council, which is scheduled to meet Oct. 13-14. The recommendation recognizes the impact of COVID-19 on the 2020-21 playing season.
“Providing a more flexible framework for the postseason in this unprecedented time will provide some certainty moving forward,” said Shane Lyons, director of athletics at West Virginia and chair of the oversight committee. “These are important postseason opportunities for our student-athletes, and this will help everyone to prepare.”
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Nick Carparelli, the executive director of the Football Bowl Association, added: “The Football Bowl Association appreciates the efforts of the Division I Football Oversight Committee in recognizing the need for maximum flexibility this bowl season.”
The Division I Football Oversight Committee approved a request from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to be granted an automatic qualifying spot in the NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision tournament that will be played in the spring of 2021.
The championship, which will have 11 conference automatic qualifiers and five at-large selections, is being conducted in the spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The bracket will consist of 16 teams and culminate with a championship game in mid-May.
The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference football champion usually plays in the Celebration Bowl instead of applying for automatic qualification into the Football Championship Subdivision bracket.