How do teams qualify for an NCAA college football bowl bid?


Quick Answer

NCAA Division I football teams qualify for postseason bowl games by winning at least six games in a year or by meeting the academic requirements. As of 2015, the top four teams in the nation are awarded spots in the Division I college football playoff, with the winners of the semi-final games meeting in the national championship game.

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Full Answer

Teams that win six games during the regular season are automatically bowl eligible, however there have been years in which a six-win team was not invited to a bowl game due to there being too many six-win or better teams and not enough bowl games. When there are not enough six-win or better teams to fill the bowl schedule, five-win teams may be invited to bowl games based on their Academic Progress Rate.

The top four teams in the nation are selected and ranked by a 13-member committee. The 12 highest ranked teams outside of the top four teams play in one of the "New Year's Six" bowl games. The champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Ten Conference, Big 12 Conference, Pacific-12 Conference and Southeastern Conference receive an automatic bid to one of the "New Year's Six" games if they do not already qualify for the playoffs.

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