Due to the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Division I Football Oversight Committee on Thursday approved a recommendation that Football Championship Subdivision teams must play a minimum of four games to be considered for at-large selection into the NCAA tournament bracket.
The proposal was moved by the Division I Football Championship Committee. The 2020 FCS championship was moved to the spring, and the bracket will consist of 16 teams. Five of the teams in the field will be at-large selections by the committee.
The four-game minimum is also 50% of the maximum of eight games allowed to be played during the spring of 2021.
This recommendation does not apply to a conference’s designated automatic qualifier. A conference remains eligible for automatic qualification in 2020-21 if it has at least three teams playing against one another other during the regular season.
With the potential for canceled games this fall and spring because of the pandemic, the Division I Football Championship Committee thought it was important to set the minimum number of games required for at-large consideration.
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 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.