The Big Ten and Pac 12 have long been on a stance that preserving the Rose Bowl is of the utmost importance. The SEC and Big 12 decided to create their own. Sort of.
The two conferences announced today that they have agreed to send their respective conference champions to a bowl game to face each other, in a similar deal the Rose Bowl has with the Big Ten and Pac 12. In the event that one of the conference champions from the SEC and Big 12 are eligible for a BCS championship or a four-team playoff entry (still to be determined of course), then the conference will send their second best option. All in all, it makes for a pretty intriguing match-up, but it does have legitimate criticism.
What are the odds that the conference champions from each conference will play in this game? It just simply does not happen often that neither conference has a player in the BCS picture. And if a four-team playoff takes precedent over the bowls, then the odds are pretty good that neither conference champ plays in the game.
"A new January bowl tradition is born," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."
"I am very excited by the prospects for a game between our champion and the champion of the Southeastern Conference," added incoming Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
Essentially, what we have is a Cotton Bowl match-up designed to pit the conference champs instead of best available. The odds are the game will take place in the Sugar Bowl, but other potential sites to be considered should be Cowboys Stadium (site of the Cotton Bowl and high-profile neutral site games in recent years), and possibly Atlanta's Georgia Dome (although with Arthur Blank hoping to get a new stadium built outdoors, who knows what the future is).
We will have more on what this announcement means later, but I'll lave you with some questions that have already started popping up as a result.
Does this speed up any process to get Florida State in to the Big 12? Yeah, probably.
Will schools such as Louisville, Clemson and Virginia Tech begin practicing their sales pitch to the Big 12 (or SEC)? If they're not, they're making a mistake.
What does this mean for the other BCS bowls, the Fiesta Bowl and Orange Bowl? Well, it's not good, right?
Will this lead to the formation of the four-team playoff, in which the Big Ten, Pac 12, Big 12 and SEC take control of the system and leave everyone else out?
Speaking of everyone else, is Notre Dame continuing their tradition of not thinking all of this matters to them? Yes.
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