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BCS 101


BCS Releases Future Automatic Qualification Standards

Press Release - Bowl Championship Series
April 22, 2010 (Updated 11/25/11, 5/9/13)

At its annual spring meeting held in Phoenix, Arizona, the 11 commissioners representing all the conferences of major college football discussed the possibility that a seventh conference could automatically qualify for a BCS bowl game in 2012 and 2013. "On-field performance will determine whether there's a seventh AQ conference," BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock said. "Last season was the second year of a four-year evaluation period. If another conference meets the threshold, it will automatically earn an automatic berth for its champion."

The formula for determining future conference automatic qualification is outlined below.

About the Bowl Championship Series

The BCS is a five-game arrangement for post-season college football that is managed by the 11 Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame. Its purpose is to match the two top-ranked teams in a national championship game and to create competitive match-ups in the four other BCS bowl games.

BCS Future Automatic Qualification Standards

Under the terms of the agreements with the bowls and television rightsholder, the ACC, American Athletic (formerly Big East), Big 10, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC will have annual automatic qualification for their champions for the 2010-11, 2011-12, 2012-13 and 2013-14 seasons.

Results from the 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 regular seasons will be evaluated to determine whether a seventh conference earns automatic qualification for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 bowl games. The process is as follows:

*The evaluation includes the following for each conference
  • (1) the ranking of the highest-ranked team in the final BCS Standings each year (if a conference does not place a team in the final BCS Standings, then its highest-ranked team is determined by the conference member that has the highest average ranking in the computer rankings used in the BCS Standings),
  • (2) the final regular-season rankings of all conference teams in the computer rankings used by the BCS each year, and
  • (3) the number of teams in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings each year, with adjustments to account for differences in the number of members of each conference.

A conference will become the seventh automatic qualifier if it finishes among the top six conferences in both No. 1 and No. 2 and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 50 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3.

*Further, a conference will be eligible to apply to the Presidential Oversight Committee for an exemption if it finishes among the top six in both No. 1 and No. 2 and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 33.3 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3, OR if it finishes among the top seven in either No. 1 or No. 2 and among the top five in the other and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 33.3 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3.

No. 3 above, the "Top 25 Performance Rating," will be calculated as follows: Points will be awarded to the conferences based on their teams' finishes in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings each year. Points will be awarded as follows:

  • Teams finishing 1-6: 4 points for each team
  • Teams finishing 7-12: 3 points for each team
  • Teams finishing 13-18: 2 points for each team
  • Teams finishing 19-25: 1 point for each team

The point totals will be adjusted to account for the size of the conference, as follows:

  • Conference membership | Adjustment
  • 12 or more members | no adjustment
  • 10 or 11 members | points increased by 12.5 percent
  • 9 or fewer members | points increased by 25 percent
  • *The computations will be made according to the conference's membership on Dec. 4, 2011.