The reasons for why this happened are above, however I'm sure you knew all of that already.
I totally agree with what you're saying. It's completely ridiculous for 6-6 teams with a win over an FCS school to get into a bowl over an 8-4 Temple team that beat UConn. Heck just look at the Big 10. A lot of those teams have 3 wins over MAC/SB teams and/or 1 over an FCS team. How hard is that to get to 6 wins? SEC has a lot of Sun Belt cupcake games too. Perfect example, Indiana, 1-7 in conference play, was 1 win away from being bowl eligible (and you know they would have gotten in). Who'd they beat? Towson, WKU, Akron, and Ark St. If they had just beaten lowly Minnesota they would have been bowling. How come Big 10 schools go bowling when Temple beat the same teams?
How we go about fixing this problem is much more difficult. Doing what the SB does and being the back up conference is a smart thing to do. However, there should be a guarantee for 8 win teams to get in a bowl game. 7 wins maybe not because then your conference comes into play (7 win MAC over 6 win Big 10 for example).
There needs to be a rule where all teams with 8 or more wins need to be placed before 6 win teams could accept bowl invites. I would suggest they have some sort of contract where they fill a conference's last bowl spot. Should the last team eligible from said conference be 6-6 they would then lose their spot to a MAC, SB, or even WAC school with 8 wins.
And for the record, I agree that only games against FBS schools should count in terms of bowl eligibility, however, I don't think all the bowl games would be filled if that happened.
The question would be money then. Does the bowl have a chance to make money on it or will the school?
A question is why didn't the MAC do what the SB did with secondary contracts. While i agree a 8-4 team shouldn't have been left out. The schools, bowls or Conferences did nothing wrong. I don't mind FCS games as they help the FCS with money. Maybe a buyout clause would be better to add to the games. Each bowl could buy out a team to not play there and then the bowl is allowed to pick up that better school.(the bought out team can still go play in another bowl if selected)
Exactly. It's the bowl sponsors that make the decisions. There isn't much money to be made by the schools in the lesser bowls since they have to pay to get their team and staff to the locations. I mean, the New Orleans bowl has a $300,000 payout. If a school like Idaho had to travel there, you think the payout would cover travel costs?
As for who is in and who isn't, it would all depend on who the 6-6 school is. Forget the business aspects like say a 6-6 Texas type team being chosen since they travel well = good business. But a 6-6 Texas team playing in the Big 12 can be argued to have done more than Temple, who is in the MAC. Doesn't help as much when the "big win" by Temple was over a school that was what, #35 in the BCS rankings? Or course, that same UConn team shouldn't have been in the BCS is we're talking about "deserving".