CHICAGO –The Big Ten could be due for a bowl shakeup in its next round of agreements.
The league will remain tied to the Rose Bowl and likely the Capital One and Outback bowls. But beyond those, the league could be set for a new round of bowling.
“It could be a lot,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said today about possible bowl lineup changes.
The league enters its final year of current bowl ties. Beyond the above three, the Big Ten also sends teams to the Gator Bowl (Jacksonville, Fla.), Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Tempe, Ariz.), Meineke Car Care Bowl (Houston), Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas) and Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl (Detroit).
Delany said he’s actively talking with bowls and could have deals reached within a few weeks to early June. He’s also discussed joining with other conferences to alternate bowl bids to eliminate fatigue from fan bases and host cities.
“We’ve been all talking about that, but it’s mostly bowl-centric,” Delany said. “It’s really hard for three conferences to get on the same page and deliver. Because ultimately the bowls are driven by the market. The Southeastern Conference is very popular. So I’m not going to go there and tell them what they should do with the SEC. We’re pretty popular. Some conferences are less popular.”
Delany wouldn’t say which bowls are in play for the league. There has been discussions with the league picking up the Holiday and Pinstripe bowls. The Big Ten also will have more say in determining which teams head to what bowls.
“We’ve always sold pick, good or bad,” Delany said. “Sometimes bowls are going to make decisions and make them in the short term. ‘I’m not going to get this team again. I had them last year. I know I’m not going to get them next year, so I better take them now even though there might be a better team that can stimulate attendance and have a really good game.’ So as you go into the parlay, the idea is that you’re going to get more different teams, more different sites to play, more opponents.
“I think there will be some election or selection. But I think there will some guidance by conferences stronger in the past, with some consultation. We’re a long way from getting that in code or in writing.”
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