Like UCLA last year, Georgia Tech is seeking a waiver to allow them to play in a bowl even if they lose the ACC Championship game and fall below the .500 benchmark. The big difference is that this year, the Board of Directors thought ahead and enacted a contingency plan which includes a place for 6-7 teams which lost their conference championship game.
That plan makes Georgia Tech’s appeal harder, rather than easier. The plan is only enacted if there are less than 70 bowl eligible teams, which there are. And the pool for 6-7 teams which lost a conference championship game is the third pool. So what Georgia Tech is asking for is a waiver to the waiver (or a waiver to the exception), essentially asking for an exception to be expanded to include them even though they do not fit the criteria.
Waivers to a waiver or exception require compelling mitigation, and Georgia Tech might have it:
UCLA’s petition included the argument that it was only playing in the Pac-12 Championship game, and thus putting itself at risk to fall below .500, because USC was ineligible. Tech could make the same contention, as Miami’s self-imposed postseason ban enabled the Yellow Jackets to play for the ACC title.
Miami’s self-imposed postseason ban has already hit a number of innocent parties. If Georgia Tech’s waiver is denied, that number expands to include the entire Georgia Tech football program. On the flip side, if the waiver is granted, it means a bowl eligible team does not have a place to play, which means those athletes and coaches are ultimately impacted by Miami’s decision.