Dennis Dodd “Jags Could Go Bowling”

August 1, 2012 · Filed Under Football · Comment 

Dennis Dodd, a well respected CBS Sports writer, posted a new article yesterday that has the South Alabama fans potentially excited. On the heels of the NCAA’s announcement of penalties against the University of Central Florida, Dodd’s headline stated, “UCF bowl ban means, gulp, South Alabama could go bowling.”

You may be asking, What does this mean? Well, UCF joins three other programs who have a bowl ban for the 2012 season. Those four teams are Ohio State, North Carolina, Penn State and UCF. OSU, North Carolina and Penn State have been perennial bowl participants while UCF was expected to challenge for the C-USA championship this coming season.

In 2010 the postseason expanded to 35 bowl games, which requires 70 teams. However there were only 72 bowl eligible teams last season.

He also pointed out that Jerry Palm, a CBS Sports writer, has also projected that there will not be enough teams to fill the 35 bowl games in 2012 before the UCF sanctions were announced.

Dodd also points out that there are outstanding cases for Miami and Oregon. Miami self-imposed a bowl ban for 2011, however it is currently still bowl eligible but the Nevin Shapiro case is still heating up. Then the Oregon case with Will Lyles third-party influence on recruits, most notably the aggressive recruitment of Lache Seastrunk.

Former Sun Belt commissioner Wright Waters is now the executive director of the Football Bowl Association. He stated in the article, “It’s an issue that we’re monitoring closely and working with NCAA to develop a backup plan.”

Dodd then points out the options that the NCAA Board of Directors would consider if this possibility occurs.

  • Allow a team with a record of 6-6 win a win over an FCS team (formerly Division I-AA) that does not meet the scholarship/financial requirements. Current rules allows an FBS team to count one win over an FCS team towards bowl eligibility but only if that school sponsors an average of 90% of the 63 scholarships allowed in FCS (IE 56.7 scholarships).
  • Allow a team with a record of 6-6 who has two wins over two FCS (formerly Division I-AA) schools. FBS rules states that they may only count one victory over an FCS school towards their bowl eligibility. However, most FBS teams try not to schedule two FCS schools for that very reason.
  • Allow a team with a record of 6-7 that lost it’s seventh game in a conference championship game. (How many 6-6 teams go to their conference championship?)
  • Allow a team with a record of 6-7 that played 13 regular season games (Hawaii rule applies here).
  • Allow teams with a record of 5-7 to be bowl eligible ranked by APR.
  • Allow in a team that is reclassifying.

The last one is where South Alabama, UT-San Antonio, Texas State and UMass all come in. Each of these schools are currently in their second year of the two-year reclassification process from FCS. None of these schools are bowl eligible nor are they eligible for their conference championship games.

Dodd pointed out that the reclassification contingency is far down the list, but he added “But when you were 7-0 three years [ago] playing Hargrave Military Academy, it sounds more than encouraging. The Jags, located in Mobile, drew 26,000 for the first-ever game in 2009, an example of that Alabama football madness.”

South Alabama went 7-0 in their first season as he pointed out. Then went 10-0 against stronger competition in 2010 including a huge win over UC-Davis. The Jags went 6-4 in 2011 with losses to NC State, Kent State, Georgia State and their first ever home loss against Cal Poly.

You can read Dodd’s full article on CBS Sports here. You can also follow him on twitter.