Implications of the Big 12 / SEC Bowl Tie-in


In May, the SEC and Big 12 agreed to have their conference champions meet in a bowl game starting in 2014. Since the beginning of the BCS, the Big 12 has gone to the Fiesta and the SEC to the Sugar. But this new agreement has been reached to protect the conferences while the BCS is under consideration for demolition.

In the short term, this means the Big 12 has gone from dead to a major player. Last summer, it looked like only a matter of time before the Big 12 would dissolve and the ACC would be the 4th conference in the super-conference set up. But, the Big 12 has survived and is now throwing its weight around to possibly entice some ACC schools to join up with them….as they are tied in with the SEC and the Big Ten and PAC 12 are linked up – it appears as though those four conferences will be the major players moving forward.

If a 4-team playoff is decided upon, this game will likely NOT feature #1 Big 12 vs. #1 SEC because those teams will be taking part in the playoff. So, it might be #2 vs. #2 or #1 vs. #2….or even #2 vs. #3 in their respective conference. So the idea of the bowl itself might not be a huge deal, but the ramifications could change everything we know about college football postseason in the long term.

We don’t know where or when this game will be played. We don’t know if it will be in a traditional bowl game or if it will be bid out. If it is bid out, I think it could change everything. The fact is, the SEC and Big 12 just came up with their own game. If they want to bid it out to Jerry Jones to play in Dallas and call it the Cowboy Bowl Game then they can. No bowl committee would keep all the extra cash, the conferences would get it.

This could trickle down. Why should the #2 Big Ten vs. #2 SEC game be hosted by the Capitol One Bowl? Why not create the “SEC/Big Ten Bragging Rights Game” played in Orlando, FL? Find a sponsor and keep the money for yourself. Have each conference create their own bowl-committees and keep the money in-house; therefore distributing more money amongst the members.

College football has always been loyal to the bowls. These bowl games are businesses just like any other and they take care of sponsorship and hosting the teams, etc. so the programs/conferences don’t have to worry about it. But in today’s era of big business college athletics, might they start looking at this as another avenue to increase revenue? It makes sense to me…cut out the middle man and create your own bowl games.

If this Big 12 vs. SEC game just goes to the Sugar Bowl or Fiesta Bowl or rotates between them, then this may just be a wild-haired idea. But if they decide to create a new bowl separate from any other (like the BCS Title Game), then it could snowball into other bowl games as well.