The SEC and the Big 12 have announced a partnership that will pit their conference champions against each other in a New Year’s Day bowl game.
The agreement between the two conferences is for five years and begins following the 2014 football season (Jan. 1, 2015). The host site, TV partner and name of the bowl game will be announced at a later date. For now, the game has the working title “Champions Bowl.”
“A new January bowl tradition is born,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “This new game will provide a great match-up between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting post-season atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience.”
“Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year’s Day prime-time tradition,” commented acting Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas. “This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a post-season event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football.”
“I am very excited by the prospects for a game between our champion and the champion of the Southeastern Conference,” added in-coming Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby.
The bowl game, which will be bid out, could be hosted by the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium, the Sugar Bowl at the Superdome, or even the Georgia Dome in Atlanta.
With a four-team playoff coming in 2014, it’s possible that the Big 12 or SEC champions could be playing there rather than the “Champions Bowl.” If that is the case, another “deserving team” from the conference would be selected to play in the game.
Another “deserving team” being selected will probably be the norm, as either the Big 12 or SEC champion has played in the national title game 11 times in the 14 years of the BCS. In most years, this bowl will probably pit the Big 12 no. 2/3 vs. the SEC no. 2/3.
The move by the two conferences creates a “Rose Bowl” type game similar to what the Big 10 and Pac-12 have. It also creates what some are calling a power shift in major college football and the possibility of further conference realignment.
With the power of the other conferences becoming weaker by the day, expect ACC teams such as Florida State, Miami and Virginia Tech to strongly consider moving to the Big 12. Even Notre Dame may have to consider joining a conference also.