College football is facing a problem that was bound to happen when it kept adding bowl games: There aren’t enough teams to automatically qualify for the postseason.
Because of this, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Solomon, Big 12 commissioner and Football Oversight Committee chairman Bob Bowlsby said the committee will discuss options for having a bowl “go dark” when there aren’t enough six-win teams.
“If we add more bowls next year, where are we going to find 84, 86, 88 eligible teams? Having bowls go dark may be the way to slow the process down. There are a lot of people that don’t even like 6-6, much less 5-7. There are people who absolutely want bowls to go dark.”
Solomon notes five cities have applied to host future games, which would steadily increase the number from the current 80. However, there’s already has a shortage of qualifiers for that number.
This season, only 75 teams have managed the six-win mark. Only Kansas State, Georgia State and South Alabama have a final opportunity to reach 6-6, though the latter two are from the Sun Belt Conference and may be fighting for one bowl slot that may not be guaranteed if both teams finish 5-7.
Bowlsby admitted “going dark” isn’t a real possibility for 2015 because that would take a postseason appearance away from a program that fulfilled the six-win requirement. Keeping this year’s 40 bowl games on the schedule is the smart decision anyway.
For the future, though, it would be reasonable to impose a get-six-or-go-dark penalty. If the committee doesn’t do that, the six-win mandate should be abolished and replaced with a fill-the-bowls-no-matter-what rule anyway, which wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
Contrary to a popular belief, there aren’t too many bowls. More football is more football, and that’s a good thing.
Remember the 2014 Bahamas Bowl that “no one would even notice?” It gave us this wild ending between Western Kentucky and Central Michigan.
Plus, in previous seasons, qualifying teams from non-power-conferences—like 7-5 Texas State in 2014 and 7-5 UTSA in 2013—weren’t selected for the postseason. That’s not fair to the athletes at those programs.
The NCAA shouldn’t be forced to supply five-win teams, but college football should have enough bowl games to meet potential demand.