NCAA Announces New Bowl Qualifications
On Wednesday, the NCAA approved a waiver that allowed for more flexibility in scheduling. As a part of that waiver the NCAA is changing qualifications for bowl eligibility.
Previously, teams were only allowed to count one victory against an FCS opponent toward bowl eligibility but now they are allowed to count two wins against FCS opponents for bowl eligibility.
"The Division I Council approved a blanket waiver request to allow a Football Bowl Subdivision team to count for bowl eligibility and scheduling requirements two games against Football Championship Subdivision teams that meet adjusted minimum scholarship criteria. This adjustment applies only to the 2020-21 season," said the NCAA in a statement on the matter.
With college schedules in the air all over the country this allow for FBS schools to consider FCS schools as replacement options for cancelled games.
The Big 10 and the Pac-12 have already announced they would each be competing in a conference only schedule, these decisions have affected matchups throughout the naiton including two games involving SEC teams.
A team must still win six games to earn bowl eligibility, however now FBS schools can count two victories over FCS schools as viable options to count towards the six.
While Alabama's aspirations are much higher than mere bowl eligibility the loss of the season opening matchup with Southern Cal leaves a hole on the Alabama schedule. The Crimson Tide already has a game scheduled, currently, with UT-Martin who competes in the FCS Ohio Valley Conference. The Tide could look to fill the Southern Cal game with a premier opponent such as TCU or Notre Dame but with the new rules Greg Byrne could potentially look to the FCS level to schedule its 12th game.