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Big 12, Liberty Bowl announce six-year deal

The SportsXchange

The Liberty Bowl on Friday announced a six-year deal with the Big 12 that takes effect in the 2014 season.

Currently, the bowl matches the Conference USA champion against a team from the SEC, but that will change next year, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

Liberty Bowl officials will have the fourth selection of Big 12 teams after that league's college football playoff representatives have been chosen.

The Big 12 had been searching for a bowl that would be favorable for traveling fans, and last season Iowa State's appearance in the Liberty Bowl provided the impetus for negotiations.

Iowa State at 6-6 was a backup choice after no SEC team was available. Almost 25,000 Cyclones fans descended on Memphis to watch Iowa State lose to Tulsa.

"I think that it showed us our fans will travel to bowls, especially if they don't have to get on a plane," Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. "We wanted some bowl games that were closer and Iowa State relayed to us the positive experience it enjoyed here."

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