So far, no 5-7 team out of the Pac-12 Conference has appeared in a bowl game.
On Monday, the Pac-12 decided that sort of mediocrity will never be rewarded with a bowl appearance. In a vote of member institution presidents on a proposal put together by the league’s athletic directors, the Pac-12 decided that 5-7 football teams no longer will be eligible for postseason play, meaning a minimum 6-6 record will be required to advance to a bowl game.
Since 2015, the NCAA has allowed 5-7 teams to participate in bowl games if there were not enough viable 6-6 squads available to complete the bowl lineup, ranking the eligible 5-7 teams through their respective Academic Progress Ratings. No 5-7 Pac-12 team has actually competed in a bowl, though across the nation three did so in 2015 and two more did in 2016. No 5-7 team competed in the 2017 bowl season.
“The Pac-12 is committed to supporting the highest quality of competition at post-season bowl games,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said in a statement to the Associated Press. “In requiring a minimum of six regular season wins our goal is to support the significance of the bowl season and provide our fans around the country with the most exciting games featuring our leading Pac-12 teams.”
The decision could be a cost-cutting one for the Pac-12. Given the marginal payout and limited fan attraction for lower-tier bowls that might ultimately invite a 5-7 team, playing in such a game likely would be a losing venture financially for Pac-12 institutions.