NCAA mandate puts 5-7 teams last in bowl selection order

Nick Bromberg
Dr. Saturday
(Getty Images)
(Getty Images)


5-7 teams are heading to the back of the bowl selection line.

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A rule from the NCAA Division I Council Wednesday mandates that all 6-6 teams must be chosen for bowl games before any 5-7 teams are assigned bowls. Three 5-7 teams, decided by Academic Progress Rate and by a number of 5-7 teams choosing not to participate in bowl games, were eligible to fill the bowl lineup following the 2015 season.

However, those teams weren’t the last ones chosen. Instead of a 5-7 team heading to the inaugural Arizona Bowl to fill one of its spots, the bowl ended up with two teams from the Mountain West Conference. The MWC was, unsurprisingly, not happy with the inter-conference matchup. The conference’s statement after the bowl pairing was announced said it was a “travesty the Mountain West has been forced into this situation and that “clearly, the system is broken.”

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40 bowl games meant 80 teams were needed to fill all the spots.

“It’s impossible to project how many eligible bowl teams we will have,” Big 12 commissioner and the chairman of the Division I Oversight Committee Bob Bowlsby said in a statement. “We think we have a selection process in the postseason that makes sense and is fair to the schools and the bowls.”

The three teams that made bowls at 5-7 last season Were Minnesota, Nebraska and San Jose State. Minnesota went to the QuickLane Bowl, Nebraska played in the Foster Farms Bowl and San Jose State played in the Cure Bowl. The 5-7 teams with the highest APR rates will get to choose what bowls to go to until all slots are filled.

“After all bowl-eligible teams are selected, the 5-7 teams – which will be considered alternates – will be deemed eligible in descending order from the highest multiyear Academic Progress Rate in the Football Bowl Subdivision for the most recent reporting year,” The NCAA’s statement said. “Those teams will then select the bowl in which they will participate.”

The Council announced earlier this spring that no bowl games will be added to the slate until after 2020.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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