Bowl Predictions 2023: Week 2

They’re actually here this time, and fully filled out even!

Let’s talk a little about the process. What I do is examine each team’s remaining schedule and roughly source based on their projected final record. In the past, I used to just sort of wing it, but these days I use SP+ to determine the winners and losers. SP+ is very predictive, but that does mean I don’t really account for upsets until they happen. So it’s common that I’ll be short a bunch of teams, but the gaps are filled in a bit as upsets occur.

This week I was nine teams short which means that NCAA Division I Bylaw 18.7.2 applies. Here’s a summary of how eligible (or “deserving” in NCAA-speak) teams are determined:

  1. You finish with a .500 record or better in games against FBS teams and no more than 1 FCS team (that gives enough scholarships).
  2. You would’ve finished with a .500 record or better, but you lost the conference title game (aka the “UCLA and Georgia Tech” rule).

So that got me to 72 bowl eligible teams. The problem is that there are 40 bowl games, so I need 80. What’s a guy to do? Well, turns out the NCAA thought of that. Here’s the deal:

  1. You can count 1 FCS win, even if that FCS school didn’t give out enough scholarships.
  2. If you played 13 games and finished with a 6-7 record.
  3. You’re a team that’s in its final year of reclassifying from FCS to FBS. Currently only James Madison fits this criteria.
  4. From then on, we go by Academic Progress Rate, or APR.

What APR is (or isn’t) doesn’t matter much for our purposes. What matters is that we can essentially use to find more teams.

It took some doing, but I got there. Again, check out the page for all the games. I’ll discuss the process more next week as well.