In official "take that Rose Bowl" fashion, the SEC and Big 12 announced Friday they are forming their own postseason bowl alliance following the 2014 season.
The champions of the two conferences will play in the bowl game — site and date undetermined — unless they are among the four teams chosen for the potential playoff to determine the national champion.
If the conference champions are not available, the next best teams would participate.
"A new January bowl tradition is born," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement released by the Big 12. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."
This power move will probably result in a power venue. The first place that comes to mind is Dallas Cowboys Stadium, which has successfully hosted many college football games and has been trying to work its way into the BCS system. However, nothing will be set until the playoff venues are determined. If the commissioners decide to go with neutral sites, then Jerry Jones would certainly want his stadium to be among those considered.
It's almost amazing to think that just two years ago the Big 12 was struggling to stay afloat. Colorado and Nebraska had left for the Pac-12 and Big Ten respectively and almost the entire Big 12 South was entertaining the idea of joining the Pac-12. Now, the Big 12 is striking deals with the best conference in college football and positioning itself as one of the power brokers in the sport.
This is an epic swan song for Chuck Neinas, the interim commissioner, who not only stabilized the Big 12, but helped it prosper by adding West Virginia and TCU and ultimately this deal. This new bowl game is the equivalent to the Big Ten and Pac-12's Rose Bowl deal without the tradition. It also provides those two conferences an opportunity to send their champions to the Rose Bowl under the same provisions as this new bowl deal.
On the flip side, this leaves the Big East and the ACC out in the cold. The Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and SEC have asserted themselves as the major players in college football while the ACC and Big East are busy trying to work through their membership issues. If there were ever a time for certain ACC members to start entertaining overtures from any of these conferences, it would be now.
As the wheels of realignment continue to churn, college football is quickly becoming a sport of four power leagues and everyone else.
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