A number of 5-7 football teams will play in bowl games this year, but Missouri won't be one of them.
Teams with 5-7 records will become eligible for at least two bowl bids and as many as five, based on their Academic Progress Rates. The NCAA Division I council approved a recommendation made by the football oversight committee Monday to fill the record 41 bowls with five-win teams because not enough teams will meet the standard bowl-eligibility requirements.
There are 75 teams with at least six victories and a .500 record going into the final weekend of the regular season. Only three more can get to six wins.
Missouri, however, announced Monday that it would not pursue a bowl game this season. Instead, athletic director Mack Rhoades wants to keep his focus on finding Gary Pinkel's replacement. Pinkel resigned as Tigers coach earlier this month for health reasons.
"Following this weekend's football games, there have been significant discussions nationally concerning 5-7 teams participating in bowl games," Rhoades said in a statement. "After careful consideration, we have decided it is not in the best interest of our football program to seek permission from the NCAA to participate in a bowl game. Our focus remains on identifying the right leader for our program and moving forward with the transition process."
According to multiple reports, Missouri met with former Toledo coach Matt Campbell, who has since taken the head-coaching job at Iowa State, and Temple coach Matt Rhule. First-year Mizzou defensive coordinator Barry Odom is also a candidate.
Based on 2013-14, Nebraska has the best APR among 5-7 teams, at 985. Missouri and Kansas State are next on the list, with an APR of 976, followed by Minnesota (975), San Jose State (975), Illinois (973) and Rice (973).
Nebraska, as the first team in line for a bowl invite based on APR, announced Monday night it will play in a bowl if invited.
However, coach Mike Riley and his assistants won't receive bowl bonuses.
Senior associate athletic director David Witty confirmed Monday night that athletic director Shawn Eichorst met with Riley and decided not to pay bowl bonuses outlined in the coaches' contracts. The Omaha World-Herald first reported the decision.
Riley's contract calls for him to be paid a $150,000 bonus if in a bowl outside the College Football Playoff. Including assistants, Nebraska would have paid $435,000 in bonuses.
Kansas State can become bowl eligible Saturday with a win at West Virginia, but the Wildcats should get in either way. Georgia State (5-6) visits Georgia Southern and South Alabama (5-6) hosts Appalachian State as those teams seek to reach bowl-eligibility based on record and shut out the 5-7 teams with high APRs.
In the past 20 years, only three teams with losing records have received bowl berths: Georgia Tech (2012), UCLA (2011) and North Texas (2001).
Missouri was the site of protests this fall amid accusations of racism on campus. The football team joined the protest and threatened to stay off the field until University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe resigned based on the demands of a black student protester on a hunger strike.
As for the bowl game, before the school's decision, Pinkel said he would not coach in it, and Missouri had appointed quarterbacks coach Andy Hill interim head coach.
Information from ESPN's Brett McMurphy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
NCAA to choose 5-7 bowl teams by APR score; Missouri passing
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