Automatic bids to college bowl games
The teams that participate in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Football Bowl Subdivision earn the right to compete in a series of post-season games called bowl games. For all 35 bowl games in the 2011-12 NCAA college football bowl season, bowl games are contractually obligated to offer bids to specific conferences, a situation known as a "tie-in". The top five bowl games in the nation select their teams as part of a coalition known as the Bowl Championship Series. The remaining 30 bowl games have individual contracts with the conferences to offer preferential bids to teams from those conferences. As long as teams are bowl eligible, they may be selected by these bowls to meet these contracts.
- 1 College Football Playoff
- 2 Other Bowl Games in 2014
- 3 2014 Order of selection
- 4 References
College Football Playoff
The College Football Playoff consists of seven bowls: the Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Peach Bowl, and College Football Championship Game. For the 2014-15 season, the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will serve as national semifinals for the 2015 College Football Championship Game in Arlington, Texas, meaning that the teams ranked #1 through #4 in the College Football playoff rankings will play in those two bowls, with the winner advancing to the national championship.
Twelve schools are selected for the major bowls. These include the champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pacific-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference. The highest-ranked champion from the "Group of Five" mid-major conferences (American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West, and Sun Belt) is guaranteed a berth if the group's top team is not in the playoff.
The following tie-ins exist for bowls in the years they are not hosting the national semifinals:
- Rose Bowl — Big Ten #1 vs. Pac-12 #1
- Sugar Bowl — SEC #1 vs. Big 12 #1
- Orange Bowl — ACC #1 vs. SEC #2, Big Ten #2, or Notre Dame
- Cotton Bowl — at-large or "Group of Five" (committee selection)
- Fiesta Bowl — at-large or "Group of Five" (committee selection)
- Peach Bowl — at-large or "Group of Five" (committee selection)
2014 "New Year's Six" bowl games
|BCS Games||First Game||Conference||Conference|
|Rose Bowl Game presented by Vizio||1902||National semifinal #2||National semifinal #3|
|Allstate Sugar Bowl||1935||National semifinal #1||National semifinal #4|
|Discover Orange Bowl||1935||ACC||SEC #2, Big Ten #2, or Notre Dame|
|AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic||1937||At-Large or "Group of Five"||At-Large|
|Peach Bowl||1968||At-Large or "Group of Five"||At-Large|
|Tostitos Fiesta Bowl||1971||At-Large or "Group of Five"||At-Large|
|BCS Championship Game||2007||Rose Bowl Winner||Sugar Bowl Winner|
Bowl Championship Series
From 1998 to 2013, the national champion was determined on the field by the Bowl Championship Series. The Bowl Championship Series consisted of five games, the Rose Bowl, Fiesta Bowl, Orange Bowl, and Sugar Bowl, as well as the BCS Championship Game. A composite system of computer rankings and human polls is used to rank the teams in the Division I–Football Bowl Subdivision. As with the College Football Playoff, the BCS consisted the champions of major conferences, at-large teams, and occasionally Notre Dame or teams from mid-major conferences. Consideration was given to historic associations between the conferences and the bowl games themselves. Tie-ins still apply, unless a team obligated to a certain bowl game is selected for the BCS Championship Game.
Other Bowl Games in 2014
|This article is outdated. (October 2014)|
The bowls that are not part of the BCS have contractual ties to specific conferences. For the 2014-15 bowl season, all bowls have at least two tie-ins, meaning that there are no at-large spots open in these bowls, assuming that all conferences produce enough bowl eligible teams. Many bowls also have contingency contracts to offer spots to other specific conferences should their first choice not be eligible. If any slot cannot be filled by a contracted conference at all, then the spot becomes open, and the bowl can offer the slot to any eligible team.
To be eligible, a team must not have a losing record in the FBS. If a school plays 12 games, they must have at least six wins to qualify. If a school plays 13 games, they must then have at least seven wins to qualify. A rule change for 2010 allows bowls to tender a bid to any team with a 6-6 record before teams with more than six wins. Previously, a bowl with an at-large bid to fill was required to select the remaining team with the best record over a 6-6 team that would have been more financially attractive in terms of bringing more fans to the respective bowl.
Records vs. selection order
The contracts specify that the respective bowl committees receive a certain choice of teams. It should be noted that the selection order lists show below (#1, #2, #3, etc.) indicate only the order in which the respective bowl committees make their selections. The choices are typically not predicated on end-of-season rankings or actually final regular season records/standings. For example, a bowl with the "# 3 pick" from a particular conference does not mean necessarily it has to select the "third place team" from that conference. When it becomes that committee's turn to pick, it may pick any of the remaining teams from that conference (with respect to the aforementioned eligibility rules detailed above).
A committee may select one team over another due to geographical proximity, travel ability for the fanbase, or other factors. Bowls may chose to "skip" teams in order to avoid regular season rematches, or perhaps bowl rematches from the previous season. In various cases, bowls have embraced a particular team(s) participating in same bowl in two consecutive seasons, but may shy away from inviting them for a third consecutive season. However, in most cases, the order loosely follows the general order of the regular season records/rankings.
Some conferences have special selection parameters written into their contracts with specific bowls — for example, the Capital One Bowl is contractually obligated to select the winningest Big Ten and SEC teams that do not make a BCS game, or a team within one win of the winningest in its conference. The MAC's bowl contracts require that both division champions, if eligible, receive bids to one of its three contracted bowls.
2014 Order of selection
Teams must be bowl-eligible to be selected for a bowl game. Should a conference not have enough eligible teams to meet their obligations, the bowls at the end of the selection process are free to choose a replacement team from among any remaining bowl-eligible teams that are not already committed to a bowl game. If a conference provides an "at-large" selection to the BCS, the remaining bowls still select in the same order. Should a conference like the Pac-12 receive an "at-large" bid from the BCS, their remaining bowl tie-ins would be affected. The Alamo Bowl would then have the third (and not second) selection from the Pac-12, and all remaining bowls would be shifted accordingly. This increases the likelihood that the conference will not be able to provide enough teams to meet its tie-in obligations.
American Athletic Conference
- #1 Birmingham Bowl versus SEC
- #2 The St. Petersburg Bowl versus ACC
- #3 The Miami Beach Bowl versus BYU
- #4 The Military Bowl versus ACC
- #5 The Bahamas Bowl versus Mid American
Atlantic Coast Conference
- #1 Bowl Championship Series. Automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, preferentially the Capital One Orange Bowl.
- #2 The Chick-fil-A Bowl versus SEC #5.
- #3 The Russell Athletic Bowl versus AAC #2.
- #4 The Hyundai Sun Bowl versus Pac-12 #4. (Contractually obligated to select ACC Championship Game runner-up, if still available.)
- #5 The Belk Bowl versus AAC #3.
- #6 The Music City Bowl versus SEC #7.
- #7 The AdvoCare V100 Bowl versus SEC #10.
- #8 The Military Bowl versus Conference USA #6.
- #9 The Fight Hunger Bowl versus Pac-12 #6 (BYU has an agreement in place to be first selection for Fight Hunger bowl; ACC fills slot only if BYU is not bowl eligible).
Big 12 Conference
- #1 Bowl Championship Series. Automatic berth in a BCS Bowl game, preferentially the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
- #2 The Cotton Bowl Classic versus SEC #3.
- #3 The Alamo Bowl versus Pac-12 #2.
- #4 The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl versus Big Ten #4.
- #5 The Holiday Bowl versus Pac-12 #3.
- #6 The Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas versus Big Ten #6.
- #7 The New Era Pinstripe Bowl versus AAC #4.
Big Ten Conference
- #1 Bowl Championship Series. Automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, preferentially the Rose Bowl versus Pac-12 #1.
- #2 The Capital One Bowl versus SEC #2.
- #3 The Outback Bowl versus SEC #4.
- #4 The Holiday Bowl versus Pac-12 #3.
- #5 The TaxSlayer Bowl versus SEC #4 or Music City Bowl versus SEC #3.
- #6 The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl versus Pac-12 #6.
- #7 The Pinstripe Bowl versus ACC.
- #8 The Quick Lane Bowl versus ACC.
- #9 The Heart of Dallas Bowl versus C-USA #4.
- #1 The Liberty Bowl versus SEC #8.
- #2 The Hawai'i Bowl versus Mountain West #5.
- #3 The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl  versus AAC #6.
- #4 The Heart of Dallas Bowl versus Big Ten #7.
- #5 The Military Bowl versus ACC #8.
- #6 The New Orleans Bowl versus Sun Belt #1.
- #1 The Bahamas Bowl versus C-USA (originally scheduled to be versus AAC)
- #2 The Boca Raton Bowl versus C-USA
- #3 The GoDaddy Bowl versus Sun Belt
- #4 The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl versus Mountain West
- #5 The Camellia Bowl versus Sun Belt
Mountain West Conference
- #1 The Las Vegas Bowl versus Pac-12
- #2 The Poinsettia Bowl versus Navy.
- #3 The Armed Forces Bowl versus Conference USA
- #4 The Hawaii Bowl versus Conference USA
- #5 The New Mexico Bowl versus Pac -12
- #6 The Famous Idaho Potato Bowl versus MAC
- #1 Bowl Championship Series semi finals. Automatic berth to a BCS bowl game, preferentially the Rose Bowl versus Big Ten #1.
Winner goes to the College Football Championship Game.
- #2 The Alamo Bowl versus Big 12 #2.
- #3 The Holiday Bowl versus Big Ten #4.
- #4 The San Francisco Bowl versus Big Ten #6.
- #5 The Sun Bowl versus ACC #4.
- #6 The Las Vegas Bowl versus Mountain West #1.
- #7 The Cactus Bowl (Tempe) versus Big 12 #6.
2014: College Football Playoff, the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Discover Orange Bowl then:
- #1 The Capital One Bowl versus Big Ten or ACC.
- #2 The Outback Bowl versus Big Ten.
- #3 The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl versus ACC or Big 10.
- #4 The TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl versus ACC or Big 10.
- #5 The AutoZone Liberty Bowl versus Big 12.
- #6 The Texas Bowl versus Big 12.
- #7 The Belk Bowl versus ACC.
- #8 The Birmingham Bowl versus TBA.
- #9 The Duck Commander Independence Bowl versus ACC.
Sun Belt Conference
- #1 The New Orleans Bowl versus Conference USA
- #2 The GoDaddy Bowl versus MAC
- #3 The Camellia Bowl versus MAC
Division I FBS Independents
Of the independent Football Bowl Subdivision teams, there are contractual agreements to play in certain bowl games should they become bowl eligible. All of these teams remain eligible for selection as a replacement team when the conferences do not have enough eligible teams to meet their obligations.
For 2014, the contractual obligations:
- "ACC Announces 2013 Football Bowl Schedule". Boston College Athletics. 2013-05-06. Retrieved 2013-07-01.
- "Big 12 Announces Bowl Agreements". Big 12. 2009-10-13. Retrieved 2009-11-09.
- "St. Petersburg Bowl FAQ's". The Official Site of the St. Petersburg Bowl. Archived from the original on 15 November 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-12.