The Big 12 has not officially announced its bowl alliances starting with the 2014 season. But plenty of speculation has ensued, and now Baylor athletic director Ian McCaw has given us even more clues on the future of Big 12 postseason destinations.
In an online chat with Baylor fans this week, McCaw revealed what he thinks will be the bowl tie-ins for the Big 12:
“The Big 12 and SEC have cemented an agreement to have their respective champions play in the Sugar Bowl as part of the College Football Playoff. We anticipate that we will regularly have a second team play among the six games that make up the playoff system as well. The remaining bowl destinations will likely include San Antonio, Houston, Orlando, Memphis, Phoenix and the Metroplex. The final details are still being worked out, and I expect that they will be finalized over the summer. The Big 12 will continue to have strong bowl partner relationships in attractive destinations for our fans.”
So there you have it. The Sugar, the Alamo, the Meineke Car Care of Texas, the Russell Athletic, the Liberty, the Buffalo Wild Wings and the Heart of Dallas bowls. That’s seven bowls, plus a hoped-for second bid to the majors. So that’s eight slots for bowl teams.
The Big 12, of course, had nine bowl teams a year ago, but that’s an aberration. In most years, the Big 12 will be hard-pressed to qualify eight teams for bowls.
So how strong is the lineup? Let’s compare it to recent Big 12 bowl lineups, with the current bowl lined up with the corresponding future bowl:
No. 1: Fiesta vs. Sugar. A push, except that the alliance with the SEC gives the Big 12 a little more status. The Big 12 needs to win one every once in awhile, which has not been the case over the course of the Big 12/SEC Cotton Bowl agreement.
No. 1-B: BCS at-large vs. College Football Playoff at-large. College Football Playoff gets the edge, because of the availability. Only four at-large berths are available in the BCS format. Six will be available in the College Football Playoff system.
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