Reddit College Football discovered that one of the Seminoles six wins should not have counted toward their bowl eligibility.
Florida State is slated to take on Southern Mississippi in the independence Bowl Dec. 27, but according to Reddit College Football, the Seminoles never actually earned bowl eligibility.
User bakonydraco submitted a post, which has been confirmed by multiple sources including Brett McMurphy, formerly of ESPN, that Florida State's 77-6 win over Delaware State should not have counted toward the team's bowl eligibility. That win, which was the first of three straight by the Seminoles at the end of the season to reach six wins, should not have counted because Delaware State did not meet the requirements needed for an FCS opponent to count toward an FBS team's bowl eligibility.
Reddit College Football found that over the most recent two-year span, Delaware State only used 87 percent of the available scholarship grants-in-aid awarded to FCS teams, but in order for an FCS opponent to count toward an FBS team's bowl eligibility, the FCS team needs to use 90 percent of its scholarship grants-in-aid over a rolling two-year stretch.
Neither the Seminoles, ACC or NCAA noticed this, and as a result, the Independence Bowl extended an invitation to Florida State while Buffalo, Western Michigan and UTSA will all miss out on bowls this season despite being eligible.
Florida State reached six wins this season by winning its last three games, including one against Louisiana-Monroe that was rescheduled for Dec. 2 after being indefinitely postponed due to Hurricane Irma. This will be the 36th consecutive bowl appearance for the Seminoles, which is considered by many the longest current streak in the nation, although the NCAA vacated the team's 2006 Emerald Bowl appearance.
Neither McMurphy or Safid Deen of the Orlando Sentinel was able to get comment from the ACC or the NCAA.
Stefan Nolet, the media relations director for the Independence Bowl, told the Sentinel, "This is a matter between the NCAA, Florida State and Delaware State. We're continuing preparations for our game." And Florida State interim coach Odell Haggins told reporters after practice Thursday, "We're focused on this football team and being the best Florida state football team we can be," when asked about potentially not being eligible, according to the Sentinel.