This is just wild. Actually, that word, or any other for that matter, doesn’t do this situation justice.
Florida State reached bowl eligibility this season for an NCAA-record 36th straight year thanks to a 6-6 record that included a win in a rescheduled game on Championship Saturday as well as one over an FCS program. It’s the latter win that’s caused a bit of a kerfuffle ahead of FSU’s Independence Bowl game against Southern Miss next Wednesday.
One Reddit user dug deep into the NCAA rulebook and determined that FSU should not be eligible to play in any bowl game this season. Why? The win over Delaware State shouldn’t have counted because the FCS program didn’t meet the scholarship requirement as laid out by the NCAA’s own rules.
From the Reddit college football site:
For an FCS opponent to be countable towards bowl eligibility, the FCS program must have awarded at least 90% of the FCS scholarship limit. After our own investigation, we have determined and confirmed that Delaware State has not met the 90% threshold set by the NCAA. As a result, Florida State’s bowl countable record is 5-6, thus making them ineligible for a bowl game this season.
Per the Reddit user, Delaware State was at 87 percent, or two scholarships away from hitting the 90-percent threshold as that level of football allows 63 scholarship players per team. Another “investigation” had the FCS program one scholarship short.
Best of all? Per one report, some of those involved in the imbroglio were forced to anonymously acknowledge that the Reddit user was correct and FSU should not have been bowl-eligible because of what was described as a “monumental” oversight on the part of not only the NCAA but FSU and the ACC as well. Another report pointed the finger of blame at Delaware State.
Alas, and regardless of who is to blame, it’s far too late in the process to change course and the game will go off as previously scheduled.
Given how FSU’s lost season has gone, this is a fitting way for the Seminoles to head into the postseason in a year when playoff hopes were high just four months ago. Hard to believe that, in late August, both the Associated Press and coaches had FSU ranked as the No. 3 team in the country heading into the 2017 season.