Big Ten and Pac-12 Partner for Two More Bowl Games
By Patrick Murphy
It was announced on Monday afternoon that the Big Ten has established two new postseason partnerships that will see them continue their rivalry with the Pac-12 beginning after the 2014 regular season.
The Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl both announced six-year agreements with the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences. Each of these agreements will also see the bowls have a higher ranking in their Pac-12 team selection than their current pick.
In the agreement, the Holiday Bowl, which occurs annually in late December at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, will get the second selection from the Pac-12 after the College Football Playoff chooses its four teams. The Big Ten team will then be selected in order to create the best possible matchup.
According to the deal, the bowl game will not host the same Big Ten team more than twice over the six year span.
“The Big Ten Conference is pleased to return to the Holiday Bowl in San Diego,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany.
“During the bowl evaluation process we heard our Directors of Athletics and head coaches tell us that the Holiday Bowl was a reward destination they wanted the conference to be a part of. The Holiday Bowl has a long history and tradition of managing bowl games that have tremendous appeal to participating teams and their fans, and we are excited by the opportunity to return to an area of Southern California that has such a strong and vibrant Big Ten football following.”
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has a similar deal in place. The bowl will select the fourth-place team from the Pac-12 and will also pick the best possible matchup when it comes to the Big Ten selection. The arrangement states that at least five different Big Ten teams will be featured in the game over the six-year period.
“The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is a welcome addition to the national Big Ten bowl family, one we hope will also appeal to the many graduates, fans and friends of Big Ten football who work and live in Northern California,” said Delany.
With the start of this deal also comes a new city and venue for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl. The event will be moved to the new 68,500 seat Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, which will predominately feature as the home of the San Francisco 49ers.
“The opportunity for the Big Ten Conference to play an annual bowl game in a world-class city like San Francisco, in a state-of-the-art, new NFL stadium, and in an area rich in football tradition appealed to our Directors of Athletics and head coaches,” Delany said.
Both of these bowl agreements offer the potential for bigger television ratings, as they tap into some of the nation’s largest television markets. It will not only increase visibility for the already major conferences, but will also allow for more matchups between two conferences who have had a long-standing history together.
While Buckeye fans will hope their team is consistently appearing in the new College Football Playoff, the potential matchups between the two conferences should prove consistently intriguing.
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