The COVID-19 pandemic has caused collegiate sports to make many on-the-fly adjustments, but the NCAA Division I Football Oversight Committee provided some clarity on Friday when it announced a requirement for FCS schools to play a minimum of four games to be considered for at-large selection to the NCAA tournament bracket.
According to a release, the 2020 NCAA FCS football championship was moved to the spring. The bracket will consist of 16 teams, and five of those will be chosen as at-large selections by the Division I Football Championship Committee. Others will be conference-based automatic qualifiers.
Conferences will retain the ability to automatically send a qualifier to the tournament if they are able to field at least three teams to compete during the season.
Given the potential for canceled games amid the pandemic, providing clarity on this point was viewed as an important step by the committee.
“Committee members believe that a minimum of four games should provide both maximum flexibility for teams while also producing adequate win-loss results for the committee to compare them against other deserving teams that played more games,” the release reads in part.
“The committee felt that evaluations will be difficult enough with only four games played. Three or fewer games played would make those evaluations exponentially more problematic.”
The four-game minimum is half of the maximum games that FCS teams will play in the spring.