Back in August, the NCAA's Board of Directors approved a new bowl selection process that could possibly produce a 5-7 bowl-eligible team. If there are not enough bowl eligible teams to fill college football's 70 postseason slots, or a conference doesn't produce enough bowl-eligible teams to fulfill its contractual obligations, a new waiver was put in place to increase the pool of bowl-eligible teams.
Consideration will go to the following groups of teams, in order:
1. Teams that are 6-6 but "would not normally be bowl eligible because they have a win against a Football Championship Subdivision team"
2. Teams that are 6-6 with two FCS wins
3. Teams that finish 6-7 with the seventh loss in a conference championship game
4. Teams that finish 6-7 that played 13 regularly scheduled games (for Hawaii or teams that travel to the islands to play the Warriors)
5. Teams reclassifying from FCS -- South Alabama, Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Massachusetts -- with at least a 6-6 record
6. Teams that finish 5-7 that have a top-five APR rating
A bowl can use these special pools only once in a four-year period, according to the NCAA release announcing the guidelines.
While Boston College's football program did just finish third in the nation with a Graduation Success Rate (GSR) of 97 percent, the Eagles were outside the top five in last June's multi-year Academic Progress Rate score. The teams that could be bowl-eligible with a 5-7 record this season are Duke, Northwestern, Boise State, Ohio State and Northern Illinois; not Boston College. All five teams that finished in the APR top-five have already reached the six win threshold this year, though Ohio State is bowl ineligible this season. As a result, a program won't be able to take advantage of this new waiver this season.
Now while BC could improve its multi-year APR score and finish in the top five next season, the Eagles 2012 postseason win threshold remains at six wins. It's survive-and-advance for BC with the next loss meaning the Eagles will be home for the holidays for the second straight year.