ACC member institution athletic directors voted to force teams to win seven games to become bowl eligible, per a report by ESPN's Brett McMurphy.
John Swofford said ACC AD’s voted for 7-5 bowl eligibility would allow 6-6 teams to fill any open spots, but no 5-7’s— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) December 9, 2015
The move would require ACC schools to win seven games to assure themselves of a bowl game in the conference lineup. If there aren't enough teams with seven wins, the league would backfill vacancies with 6-6 teams since .500 records qualify for NCAA eligibility. The move would avoid what happened this past season, where several 5-7 teams were granted bowl eligibility waivers because there weren't enough .500 teams.
Currently, 10 bowl games automatically grant bowl berths to ACC schools with an 11th conditional berth if there aren't enough bowl eligible teams for one of the league's lower tier games.
The ruling will have an impact through the entire league. Currently, the league has an automatic bid to the Orange Bowl for its league champion, unless that team places itself within the College Football Playoff with notable exceptions. If the ACC champion goes to the CFP, then its second-seeded team in the rankings automatically qualifies for the Orange Bowl. If the Orange Bowl is included in the national semifinal playoff, then the ACC Champion (or next-highest seeded team) goes, by default, to one of the "host" bowls - either the Fiesta Bowl or Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl.
Additionally, Notre Dame is included in the ACC bowl lineup, unless the Fighting Irish qualify for the CFP.
The ruling will mean that more of a premium is placed on final resting spot in the ACC. Under the new ruling, eight ACC teams (plus Notre Dame) were bowl eligible with records of 7-5 or better. Virginia Tech, at 6-6, would now be technically bowl ineligible. If Notre Dame does not qualify for the CFP and falls into the ACC lineup of games, a team that's 6-6 could technically be left out of the bowl lineup. If that happened this year, the Hokies would be the 10th seeded team. Depending on the year and how many bowls the ACC contracts with, that would have potentially placed VT on the bubble.
That said, 6-6 most likely gets a team into a bowl as long as they clean up within conference play. Finishing in the top nine or ten teams all but guarantees a bowl game. Given the ACC's eight-game conference schedule, a team going 3-5 in league play would need to sweep its non-conference schedule.
If the ACC eventually goes to a nine-game schedule, things are going to be even more on a premium. In these instances, given the higher importance of winning conference games, it's possible this opens the door for even more lower-level FBS scheduling out of conference. That means teams, in order to become bowl eligible, need to be able to schedule winnable FBS games alongside its one FCS game.
With a deeper conference schedule, scheduling high profile non-conference games could now hurt bubble teams moreso than help.
What do fans think about this? Feel free to weigh in within the comment section.