Pac-12 passes new rule requiring 6 wins to play in a bowl game

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott said the rule is about supporting the significance of the bowl season. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In a world where there are upwards of 40 bowl games, there is always a chance a team with a 5-7 record could be needed to fill out a bowl slot.

If there aren’t enough 6-6 teams to occupy the available slots in 2018-19, a Pac-12 team with a 5-7 record won’t be filling the void.

According to the Associated Press, the conference’s presidents passed a rule Monday that requires its teams to win at least six regular season games to play in a bowl game.

In 2015, we saw three 5-7 teams play in bowl games. In 2016, there were two. None of those teams have been from the Pac-12, though UCLA lost to a 5-7 Nebraska team in the 2015 Foster Farms Bowl.

Despite the benefits that can come with a bowl appearance, especially additional practices, the Pac-12 apparently wanted it to stay that way.

“The Pac-12 is committed to supporting the highest quality of competition at post-season bowl games,” Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott told The Associated Press. “In requiring a minimum of six regular season wins our goal is to support the significance of the bowl season and provide our fans around the country with the most exciting games featuring our leading Pac-12 teams.”

In the past, teams with 5-7 records — those who elected to accept and not decline bowl bids — were chosen by their by Academic Progress Rate. In 2016, after a year where two Mountain West teams ended up facing one another in the Arizona Bowl, the NCAA Division I Council adjusted the bowl selection process to ensure that all 6-6 teams were placed in a bowl before any 5-7 teams.

No teams with losing records were needed to fill the bowl slots last year. Not including the College Football Playoff title game, there will be 39 bowl games this upcoming season.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!

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