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'Monumental' oversight by NCAA, Florida State might have cost Western Michigan bowl game

Seminoles not bowl eligible but were selected ahead of Western Michigan

Cornerback Darius Phillips #4 of the Western Michigan Broncos celebrates with defensive lineman DeShawn Foster #36 of the Western Michigan Broncos and defensive back Stefan Claiborne #21 of the Western Michigan Broncos after scoring against the Michigan State Spartans on a 100 yard kickoff return during the second half at Spartan Stadium on September 9, 2017 in East Lansing, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)

DETROIT – Many college football fans believe there are too many bowl games, as average teams are now being rewarded with postseason appearances.

But unlike in seasons past, when 5-7 teams had to be put into bowl games to fill all the slots, three bowl-eligible teams -- Western Michigan, Buffalo and Texas-San Antonio -- were left out this season.

Western Michigan was snubbed despite winning six games to follow up last year's 13-1 season, which ended with a Cotton Bowl appearance.

It was a painful omission for Broncos fans, but now it appears they have even more of a right to be frustrated.

According to college football analyst Brett McMurphy, the NCAA, the ACC and Florida State University made a "monumental" oversight by putting the Seminoles in a bowl game when they were, in fact, not bowl eligible.

Florida State's path to 6 wins

Florida State made headlines when it rescheduled a previously canceled game against Louisiana-Monroe just to get to six wins and keep its 35-year bowl streak alive. The streak is currently the longest in the NCAA.

The Sept. 9 matchup between Florida State and UL-Monroe was canceled due to a hurricane, and the plan was to not make up the game. But when it became apparent that the Seminoles weren't going to get to six wins, the game was rescheduled for Dec. 2.

It would seem that during this time, a heavy focus would be put on Florida State's eligibility, but somehow, officials from the school, the conference and the NCAA missed something that a Reddit College Football user did not.

Why Florida State isn't bowl eligible

One of Florida State's wins, over Delaware State, does not count toward the six wins necessary for a Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) team to go to a bowl game. Delaware State, a Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) opponent, does not meet the NCAA's scholarship requirements to count toward bowl eligibility.

That information was verified by Reddit College Football with Delaware State University.

As a result, Florida State still finished the season 5-6 in terms of games that count toward bowl eligibility, even with the victory over UL-Monroe. The Seminoles should not have been deemed bowl eligible, and that spot should have gone to Western Michigan, Buffalo or UTSA.

'It's too late to do anything now'

Florida State's matchup with Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl is only a few days away, and the players are scheduled to make the trip this weekend. The two teams will meet in Shreveport, Louisiana, at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A bowl industry source told McMurphy that it's too late to change the matchup or insert one of the bowl-eligible teams in Florida State's place.

Another source told McMurphy that this should have been caught by officials at Florida State, the ACC and the NCAA, but that doesn't help Western Michigan.

The Broncos won't get the benefit of bowl practices, or the exposure of playing in a bowl game. But they should have had a chance to be selected over Florida State.