James Madison University Football's Fight for Bowl Eligibility

James Madison University football has embarked on a remarkable journey to secure a bowl game spot in the 2023 college football season. This article delves into the timeline of their fight, the reasons behind their ineligibility, and the latest developments in their quest for bowl eligibility.

James Madison's Journey to the FBS

Explore how James Madison University made the transition from the FCS to the FBS and the success they achieved in their first two seasons.

James Madison University began building its football program in the Football Conference Subdivision (FCS) in 1972. After winning their first FCS title in 2004, the Dukes made the leap to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) following the 2021 season. Their first season in the FBS was a remarkable success, with an 8-3 record, joining the ranks of only a few teams to achieve such a feat in the past 15 years.

Continuing their hot streak, the Dukes maintained an undefeated 10-0 record through Week 11 of the 2023 season. However, despite their outstanding performance, they are currently ineligible for a bowl game due to NCAA regulations.

NCAA Regulations and Bowl Eligibility

Learn about the NCAA regulations that prevent James Madison from participating in a bowl game and the reasons behind these restrictions.

When a program moves from the FCS to the FBS, NCAA bylaws impose a two-year bowl ban. This rule aims to ensure that teams have the necessary infrastructure, scholarship funding, and resources to sustain their position in the top tier of college football.

Despite James Madison's impressive 8-3 record in their first FBS season, their waiver request to be eligible for a bowl game was denied. The university filed a second waiver request based on their continued success in the 2023 season, but it was also denied by the NCAA.

Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has taken legal action on behalf of James Madison University, hiring a law firm to file a lawsuit against the NCAA, arguing that the bowl ban violates antitrust laws.

The Fight for Bowl Eligibility

Discover the ongoing efforts of James Madison University to secure a bowl game spot and the potential scenarios that could lead to their participation.

As of now, James Madison is still not eligible for a bowl game. However, there is a possibility that they could still secure a spot if there are not enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all the slots.

With 58 teams already eligible and 36 teams having the potential to reach six wins by the end of the regular season, the competition for bowl spots is fierce. If all 36 teams win their remaining games, there would be 94 bowl-eligible teams in the FBS. In the best-case scenario for James Madison, where only the favorites win, there would still be five open spots, which could include the Dukes.

Last year, the 5-7 Rice Owls made a bowl game due to a lack of eligible teams. James Madison finds itself in a similar position this season, hoping to secure a bowl game despite the challenges they face.

The Future of James Madison Football

Explore the potential outcomes and the actions being taken by James Madison University to challenge the NCAA's bowl ban and secure a brighter future for their football program.

While the NCAA has denied James Madison's waiver requests, the university remains determined to fight for their football program's future. Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares has taken legal action, and the law firm representing James Madison is prepared to file a lawsuit against the NCAA if necessary.

James Madison's fight for bowl eligibility has garnered attention and support from fans and the college football community. Their continued success on the field, combined with the legal battle off the field, highlights the determination and resilience of the Dukes as they strive to make their mark in the FBS.

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