The Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday approved a request to waive the April 1 bowl game certification application deadline. The waiver allows a replacement game to be developed for the 2021 bowl season.
Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference and the Mountain West Conference made the request to provide flexibility in the system and use two previously approved spots to create a one-time contest. To provide this opportunity, a waiver of the April 1 bowl certification application deadline was required. The conferences plan to partner with ESPN Events to develop a game consistent with other postseason bowl experiences.
"We are always looking for opportunities for student-athletes to participate, and we felt this was one that fit within the construct," said Sandy Barbour, chair of the Division I Football Oversight Committee and director of athletics at Penn State.
When certification closed for the current bowl season, conferences had established commitments for 42 bowl games with 84 teams. However, this summer, the San Francisco Bowl alerted the NCAA and its two partner conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, that it would not conduct a game this year. Consequently, entering the 2021-22 season, the system anticipated 41 games with 82 teams needed to fill all of the available bowl spots.
Hawaii, which finished the season 6-7, will join the 83 teams that had qualified to compete in a bowl game. Hawaii is an alternate ahead of any 5-7 teams because it participated in 13 regular-season contests and finished the season with six wins that count toward meeting the definition of a "deserving team."