Big 12, SEC agree to new bowl match-up of champions
On Friday the Big 12 and SEC joined forces, and in doing so made a statement that together they are capable of achieving some great fortunes.
The official announcement says the conferences have agreed to a five year deal to send their conference champions to a new bowl game, although there is a possibility that the Sugar Bowl or Cotton Bowl becomes the destination for the match-up of conference champions. In the event either conference champion is eligible for the likely four-team playoff format (details still being ironed out), the conferences will send the next best conference member.
“In making this announcement, the Big 12 and SEC have kept themselves ahead of the game when it comes to the reorganization of the college football playoff structure resulting from the expiration of the BCS’ current deal,” writes Alicia Jessop of Business of College Sports. “This should come as no surprise to college football fans, as SEC commissioner Mike Slive has been at the forefront of proposing captivating alternatives to the current BCS system.”
Ironically the deal is struck in the same calendar year that the SEC plucked two Big 12 schools to switch conference allegiances this fall. Smooth move Slive. Smooth move.
Matt Hayes and The Sporting News shared via Twitter that the goal of the new SEC-Big 12 bowl arrangement is to have a standalone game that allows for its own television contract (to the highest bidder I would suppose), and if that plays out the conferences hope it will, that means some serious cash for all members of the expanded SEC and replenished Big 12. In fact, it may actually make the Big Ten’s stance to stand behind the Rose Bowl more logical. As I suggested on Crystal Ball Run on Friday, this is the Big 12 and SEC’s southwestern style Rose Bowl.
My first reaction to this news was positive. I like knowing that there will be a bowl set up between conference champions from two of the best conference champions. Texas vs. Alabama? Oklahoma vs. LSU? West Virginia vs. Georgia? Yes please.
Texas vs. Texas A&M? Florida State vs. Florida? Let’s move on…
But there are some things to keep in mind here. The chances that the conference champions from the Big 12 AND SEC are left out of the BCS Championship picture, be it one single game or a four-team playoff scenario, are not very good. The last time it happened was
Now before we go any further I must admit something. I am by no means a fan of professional wrestling. I did not watch it growing up and now that I am grown up I do not watch it, but I will never mock anyone else for doing so. Like many things, pro wrestling is not for everyone. But I did go through a stretch of time watching some wrestling with the guys in my college days. Monday and Thursday nights had appointment television viewing, a nice break from the studies during the week. I happened to be watching during the time when WWF (I know it is WWE now, but at the time it was still WWF) was taking over the industry, buying out WCW and absorbing ECW.
I can’t help but recall the night that the WCW and ECW joined forces to form The Alliance, certainly not keeping mum about their intent to re-take the business. The WWF was portrayed as an organization that may have been too cocky and comfortable with the way things were, latching to years of dominance without feeling threatened. You might say the Big Ten views their conference that way, or at least the Rose Bowl. And that’s where the analogy comes together.
The Big Ten is the WWF. Rich and powerful, whenever a mouth opens there will be people listening. Plus, this guy…
The SEC is WCW. Strong, independent and confident with a vocal fan base in the south. Known to crash a party and not happy playing second fiddle. Both feel their product is the elite brand. To be fair, the SEC would be on a better playing field than the WCW was toward the end of the line, but go with me on this for a minute, won’t you?
The Big 12 is EC(f’n)W. Sure, their fans are loyal and the brand can stand on its own two feet, but both have been in a position of not being able to keep everyone happy, perhaps due to some funding issues. While each can run their own business and carry their own respective weight, the numbers are usually stacked against them compared to the more elite brands available. But partner up with another brand, and then you have something cooking…
Which brings us to The Alliance.
With the Big 12 and SEC joining forces, even if the odds are better that they do not meet in this newly formed designated bowl setting, the statement has been made. The Alliance is telling the Big Ten and Pac 12 that they can have their little Rose Bowl out in Pasadena. They’ll just set up their own conference and reap the benefits their own way. And this should just be the beginning.
Now that this deal is struck, the Alliance only figures to get stronger. With the conference champions of the Big Ten, Pac 12, SEC and Big 12 now locked in to a high-profile bowl match-up, other schools are going to think strongly about getting on board. The Pac 12 and Big Ten are pretty set with their membership, but the Big 12 has room to fill. Don’t you think the powers that be at Florida State are going to take an even closer look at the details in considering a potential move to the Big 12? And if Florida State is a lock to join the Big 12, there is one more spot to fill.
Virginia Tech? Clemson? Miami? Notre Dame?
The truth is that the Big East and ACC are now stuck together on a sinking ship when it comes to bowl games. The other conferences have their own clubs, which means the Big East and ACC may have to start on their contingency plans. The Big East has already extended their hand to the ACC, telling ESPN.com’s Joe Schad they are willing to put together the same kind of bowl game.
Of course they are. Right now the ACC is TNA Wrestling and the Big East is Force One Pro Wrestling.
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