We can now call another step in the process fully official. The Georgia Southern Eagles football program has formally submitted, for the NCAA's consideration, their waiver to be eligible for a bowl game.
Things working in their favor:
- The people who select teams to come to their bowl games are generally preferential to teams that will do a good job of selling tickets and having their fans show up. We can be sure that #GATA and crew will pack the house, no matter where it is.
- The people who do said choosing also like teams who are very watchable and should therefore draw strong television ratings. You could do a whole lot worse (see: every single 6-6 team) than an Eagles squad with the best rushing offense in the nation who nearly beat a Georgia Tech team that has a chance to be ACC champions.
Things working against them:
We all know that the NCAA can often be described with words whenever they make decisions, and those words can range anywhere from "archaic" to "biased" to "inconsistent." We all know that the Eagles can only attend a bowl game the 'normal' way if there are fewer than 76 bowl eligible teams, and there will have to be a lot of losing this weekend for that to happen.
That said, maybe for once we could describe the NCAA as "logical" or even "forward thinking." Surely they would like to reward a Georgia Southern team that has surpassed all of their expectations. Surely they would like to reward a fanbase that is eager to spend their money on tickets. Surely they would rather let everyone at home watch a nine-win team produce an exciting game.
Who wants to watch any of what could easily be as many as 22 teams with a 6-6 record who are exactly that mediocre when they could watch this?
Or it could just be business as usual. But I'm going to stay optimistic.