Could the college football postseason be closed to the Army Black Knights and, for at least a year or two, the Navy Midshipmen?
A CBSSports.com report says an NCAA task force will propose turning over regulation of the 35-game holiday TV filler known as bowl season to football conferences, leaving the governing body out of everything except sponsorship approval. That means conference would decide how many bowls are played and who plays in them — leaving independent teams such as Army and Navy on the outside looking in.
Army’s another story. On the plus side, the Black Knights have agreements in place for games in 2012 (Military Bowl), 2013 (Poinsettia Bowl), 2014 (Armed Forces Bowl) and beyond.
Per the CBS report, though, there’s fading support for granting bowl eligibility to 6-6 teams; without .500 clubs eligible, some of the postseason games would have to go away, along with any agreements they carry.
So, join a conference? Not necessarily — Notre Dame’s piggybacked onto the Big East’s bowl structure for years without playing a conference football schedule, and a similar deal could be offered by another conference to the Black Knights. While not on the same level as Fighting Irish football, a successful Army team comes with a higher national profile than a garden-variety 7-5 WAC club, which would mean higher ratings for ESPN2 on a random weeknight in late December.
And really, isn’t that what college football is all about?