Does Cal actually have the six victories it needs to become bowl eligible this season?
The USA Today is reporting that the school has requested a waiver from the NCAA Football Oversight Committee that will allow its season-opening win over Grambling State to count toward the six wins necessary to play in a bowl game.
At issue, according to the story, is whether Grambling awarded enough athletic financial aid as a Football Championship Subdivision opponent to qualify it as an opponent that counts toward the six-win minimum without an NCAA waiver.
Cal issued the following statement on Tuesday afternoon:
“At this time, we have received assurances from Grambling and are fully confident that the program meets the NCAA requirements. We believe our game against Grambling will count toward bowl eligibility. We filed a waiver with the NCAA as a precaution in the very unlikely event that Grambling’s calculations do not meet the NCAA requirements.”
According to NCAA rules, Football Bowl Subdivision teams can schedule one game against an FCS opponent, but for the game to count toward bowl qualification without a waiver, the FCS program must award, based on a two-year rolling average, at least 90 percent of the 63 scholarships allowed.
Cal spokesman Wes Mallette told USA Today the university requested the waiver “as a fallback option in the unlikely event that Grambling’s calculation does not meet the NCAA requirements. But Grambling has told us and we believe strongly that the requirement has been met and this will not be an issue.”
The USA Today story said Cal has been working with Grambling officials to determine whether the Tigers meet the standard. Cal was not aware of the potential problem until last week, the story said.
Cal is expecting to play in its first bowl game since 2011 when it lost 21-10 to Texas in the Holiday Bowl.
The Bears, who are 6-5 overall and 3-5 in Pac-12 play, secured their sixth victory two weeks ago with a 54-24 verdict over Oregon State.
Cal faces Arizona State on Saturday night in its regular-season finale. Kickoff is 7 p.m. on FoxSports1.
Check back for updates on this story.