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Report: GT will receive bowl waiver if it loses ACC championship game

Georgia Tech v Georgia Getty Images

Thanks to Miami’s self-imposed postseason ban, Georgia Tech backed its way into the ACC championship game this Saturday against Florida State. The Yellow Jacket could potentially be to college football’s bowl season what UCLA was in 2011: a 6-6 team that loses its conference championship to finish the regular season 6-7. In such a case, GT would need to apply for a special waiver from the NCAA to go to a bowl game.

According to a report from CBS Sports, Tech will in fact get that waiver, though no one from GT has confirmed nor denied that report yet.

What’s interesting is that the NCAA’s Board of Directors approved a new process over the summer for selecting teams for bowl games in the event that there weren’t enough bowl eligible teams at the end of the season. That selection process was broken down into six “pools” and should actually make it more difficult for Georgia Tech to receive an exception to go bowling.

  • First pool: Teams that finish 6-6 but would not normally be bowl eligible because they have a win against a Football Championship Subdivison team.
  • Second pool: A team that has a 6-6 record but beat two FCS teams.
  • Third pool: A team that finished with a 6-7 record, with the seventh loss being in a conference championship game.
  • Fourth pool: A team that played 13 games but finished with a 6-7 record.
  • Fifth pool: A team in the process of reclassifying to FBS football and has at least a 6-6 record.
  • Sixth pool:  Any top 5 APR team with a 5-7 record.

As you can see, Georgia Tech would fall into the third pool. As of tonight, there are 70 bowl eligible teams to fill all the slots for all 35 bowls. Pitt and UConn can also become bowl eligible this weekend with wins over South Florida and Cincinnati, respectively, bringing that total to 72 teams.

So even if Georgia Tech loses to Florida State this weekend — the Seminoles are expected to win — they’ll go bowling with a losing record while one or more bowl eligible teams stay home. Reportedly.

Updated 11:45 p.m. ET: The commissioner of the Mid-American Conference, Jon Steinbrecher, issued a statement Thursday evening regarding the NCAA’s decision to approve a bowl waiver for Georgia Tech should the Yellow Jackets finish the regular season 6-7. It’s likely one or more bowl eligible teams from a non-automatic qualifier conference will be staying home this bowl season while GT goes to a bowl game with a losing record. Here are Steinbrecher’s remarks:

“I could not disagree more with the rationale provided. One of the reasons for the development of the policy covering this matter was to clearly create a selection order to manage just this situation.

“These selection orders were developed with NCAA staff input and approved unanimously by the NCAA Board of Directors last July. To suggest that the NCAA staff or task force working on bowl policy did not contemplate such a circumstance, when this same situation occurred last year, is incorrect. The policy is clear and understandable.

“What is lacking is the willingness to enforce NCAA policy and that is regrettable. All the Mid-American Conference asks is that the rules that have been approved by the member institutions of the NCAA be enforced. That did not occur in this instance.”

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12 Responses to “Report: GT will receive bowl waiver if it loses ACC championship game”
  1. jimbo75025 says: Nov 29, 2012 10:39 PM

    Sixth pool: Any top 5 APR team with a 5-7 record.

    Forgive my stupidity, but what is APR in the context of these selection exemptions?

  2. thefiesty1 says: Nov 29, 2012 11:02 PM

    So let them go to the Fight Hunger Podunk bowl that nobody cares about or will watch on TV.

  3. dmcgrann says: Nov 29, 2012 11:06 PM

    APR=Academic Progress Rate. If you have a higher APR than the next school in the pool, you go to a bowl. Before UVA and VT played last week, it was possible that, if UVA beat VT, both teams could be bowl-eligible with less than six wins, because their APRs were fairly high. Since VT beat UVA and apparently, according to Ben, there will be more bowl-eligible teams than bowls (when did that happen last in the current setup), it really doesn’t matter, anyway.

  4. normtide says: Nov 29, 2012 11:13 PM

    GT has a nice fan following, so more attractive to a bowl, and more eyes on tv. $ talks

  5. jkaflagg says: Nov 30, 2012 12:45 AM

    UCLA was granted a similar waiver last year for the PAC 12 Title game as USC was ineligible…..

  6. deadeye says: Nov 30, 2012 3:38 AM

    A long time ago getting a bowl bid was a big deal. Now we have sub-500 teams going to bowls. This system makes no sense.

  7. salmon88 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:34 AM

    The real problem is the political correctness of this mess. It is like every kid getting a trophy. I thought that we were teaching these kids life lessons, that in order to get to the top one has to excel at his/her job. Going to a bowl with a 7-5 record is a joke much less a 6-7. IT is time to draw a line in the sand and stop this bowl scenario. No watches or cares about many of the bowls. The pundits will tell you it’s a reward. Ask the players, who wants to go to the Grease Bowl in Nowhere USA and have to practice for an extra two weeks? It is all about easy programming for ESPN and the bookies, the kids are the ones that get shortchanged. After the new 4 team playoff there should be no more than 6-8 bowl and make it a real reward and honor, not just the last girl asked to the dance.

  8. axltcu says: Nov 30, 2012 12:01 PM

    Imagine if they somehow pull off an upset. We will have a 7-6 team in the Orange Bowl.

  9. gatorprof says: Nov 30, 2012 4:24 PM

    It shouldn’t, they and the ACC suck.

  10. scalpemseminoles says: Nov 30, 2012 8:05 PM

    I hate being in the acc. Can we get two ranked teams in our championship? The MAC can do it why can’t we

  11. abrellbama says: Nov 30, 2012 8:19 PM

    I would much rather watch Georgia Tech in a bowl game than Ohio, Bowling Green, Ball State, etc. And how can you leave a division winner of an AQ school out of a bowl over a MAC team? You don’t even play the same caliber teams and if you had, you would lose just like Kent State in 2011 against Alabama losing 48-7.

  12. bigbuckeye76 says: Nov 30, 2012 11:27 PM

    FYI, rumor has it GT’s board has approved a move to the B1G..

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