Forgive me for going down this road given Penn State’s current post season situation, but starting in the 2014 season, the Big 10 will (finally) shake up the bowl line up, and (finally) give Big 10 fans some new destinations to escape the northern winter. Perhaps more importantly, the league is abandoning the old selection system, and instead setting up a tiered structure, that will hopefully aid in avoiding repeat visits to the same bowls year after year.
While nothing is totally official, here is the presumed arrangement:
Capital One Bowl vs. SEC (Orlando)
Outback Bowl vs. SEC (Tampa)
Holiday Bowl vs. Pac 12 (San Diego)
Orange Bowl (Miami) vs. ACC/SEC/Notre Dame – As part of the new college football playoff, the Big 10 is guaranteed at least 3 appearances in the Orange Bowl over 12 years. The ACC, SEC, and Notre Dame also have similar agreements.
Pinstripe Bowl vs. ACC (New York City)
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Pac 12 (San Francisco/Santa Clara)
Music City Bowl vs. SEC (Nashville)/Gator Bowl Jacksonville)
Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas)/Armed Forces Bowl vs. Pac 12 (Ft. Worth)
New Detroit Lions Bowl vs. TBD (Detroit)
Some of those conference tie ins for opponents are subject to change, but in general, that should be pretty close to what will be the 2014 set up. All in all, I’m a huge fan of the changes. The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Tempe) and Meieke Car Care Bowl (Houston) weren’t exactly premier destinations. Adding San Diego, San Francisco/Santa Clara, New York, and Nashville is a huge upgrade as far as I’m concerned.
San Diego is about the most perfect place on the planet, and the San Francisco Bay Area is fantastic. New York is New York, and close, plus I love the idea of a colder weather bowl game. Let’s be honest, that’s Big 10 football, and really, Penn State football. Nashville doesn’t scream great destination, but as a two time visitor, I love the city. You don’t even have to like country music to enjoy Music City. Trust me.
Of course none of this really matters for Penn Staters until the 2016 season, but when the post season once again is an option for the Lions, I think our fans will be pleased with some of the new possibilities.
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