Some people love tracking recruiting and mock drafts. Dorks like myself track financial things like bowl tie-ins (shrug).
The bowls are facing a substantial shift. The East became a Mid Major, the rest of the WAC defected to the MWC (which kind of makes that whole split seem useless), and CUSA has a new face. The playoffs expanded the old BCS from 10 to 12 members absorbing the Cotton and Chick-Fil-A bowls (those fan bases are just now realizing what they lost with the tie-ins). The ranks of the 5 remaining majors have grown by a net 8 teams which equates to approx. 5 bowl teams. All totaled, the 5 majors are looking for about 7 new tie-ins.
So I thought hey - why not predict the new tie-ins based on tendencies, then compare to what the rest of the internet is saying? Except where noted below, they matched... which could be good, or could be a sign they are making up shit like me but passing it as fact (it is the internet).
Except for the Holiday and Orange, I don't list bowl rotations. The Commissioners expressed interest, but noted logistic problems.
"East" refers to the AAC.
Note: Click on any table for a larger pop-up view
1. The Playoffs, Rose or substitute when the Rose is part of the playoffs but the B1G gets snubbed.
Not really #2. Orange -The SEC and B1G champion will never play in the Orange unless it is in the playoffs.
The next highest ranked team from a pool of the B1G, SEC, and ND will play the ACC Champion, or the next highest ranked ACC team if the ACC Champ is in the playoffs.
The exception is a regular season rematch, in which case they drop to the next highest ranked B1G, SEC, or ND team. The B1G and SEC have to appear at least 3 times in 12 years, while ND cannot appear more than twice.
This will take place in the Orange Bowl, or the Fiesta or Chick-Fil-A Bowl when the Orange is hosting the playoffs.
I don't know if there is an allowance to place a B1G/SEC team in the Rose/Sugar if the conference champ heads for the playoffs, but I expect it to exist.
2. Cap 1 Bowl - with ratings rivaling or exceeding some BCS bowls, this tie-in is secure. A rule preventing playoff host cities from having another bowl game kept Orlando from pursuing becoming a playoff host, choosing to keep the Cap 1 and Russell Athletic bowl and pursue the title game. Delany is as lucky as he is good.
3. Outback Bowl - The B1G #3 pick stays ahead of the ACC and Big 12 #2 pick.
Gator Bowl - The B1G #4 pick gets replaced with the ACC #2 selection.
Alamo Bowl - they tossed the B1G for our apathy. Look for them to take a step up to the B12 #2 and stay with their tie-ins.
4. Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - I expect the B1G #4 and Big 12 #3 to stay ahead of the PAC #3, ACC #3 and SEC #5. options..
5. Holiday Bowl - Reports are a rotation with the B12 is a done deal. This is a hard hit to the Big 12, losing 1-1/2 of their 2 thru 5 tie-ins.
Russell Athletic Bowl -The tourism and advertising savvy Orlando bowl organizers won't have the same conference appearing in both their Cap 1 and Russell Athletic bowls, the PAC already has their own Disneyland, which leaves the Big 12 to replace the East. They might swap the #4 pick with the Holiday bowl.
6. Pin Stripe Bowl - In a market Delany hopes to capture, this will be looked back upon as a big pickup. Leave it to Delany to net 1/2 more invites to the top 9 bowls while the SEC is still trying to replace 2 tie-ins and the Big 12 loses 1-1/2 tie ins. The real winner is the ACC who got an even replacement for the Chick-Fil-A in the Gator and an improvement here.
Meineke Car Care and Belk Bowl - I adjusted my picks after surfing the web. Slive finally replaces his 2 lost bowls. Delany would have liked any of these 3, but we are deep in the selections with less than enthused fan bases to fill the stadiums, so I think the bowls go with regional tie-ins. If the SEC selection order is shuffled or rotated, it means Slive had to put more on the table to box out Delany.
The Big 12 wanted a bowl in Tennessee, but the Music City won't swap because it is really a lower pick - 6th out of 10 conference members in the Big 12 is much lower than 6th out of 16 in the ACC.
These bowls and the Alamo were rumored to be part of a rotation, but the bowls denied having any discussions, so consideration never made it past the conference level.
This is the Miss. America runner-up area "Should the major be unable to fulfill their duties and provide a bowl eligible team, the mid major will assume their responsibilities and provide an opponent." I didn't try to pick the alternate mid-major.
For existing tie-ins to CUSA, they might swap with the East - it is hard to tell the difference now. I project the East is the new Navy tie-in with alternates.
With the 7 at large playoff teams we are really into the bottom 1/2 of the majors. With appearance fees about the same as expenses and teams outside the top 1/2 majors, geography becomes significant to cut costs and fill the stadiums with less than excited fans.
Liberty Bowl - I think the Liberty will stick with a mid-major - it is their history. With several other majors eyeing a bowl in Tennessee, let's see if the new contract will allow the SEC to veto opponents like they did in 2011 to avoid a loss to a mid major (Fake-Ass Bowl Record).
7. Heart of Dallas Bowl -If they passed on the PAC and mid majors before, they will pass on them again.
8. Independence Bowl - This is another reach. Delany would prefer the Military bowl, but they stick with the ACC. He would prefer the Maaco bowl with a potential long term bonus if UNLV gets a new Mega Stadium that could only be built in Vegas (picture at top), but he won't displace the MWC #1 pick. He doesn't want another bowl in Florida. The SEC in Alabama is just a shittier Florida. This leaves Louisiana against the ACC.
My 2nd guess is... pick one of these or a lower bowl... it really doesn't matter.
These appearance fees are a LOT less than expanses. Geographic location outweighs other factors.
9. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl ...for the program that is just happy to be bowl eligible. For most of this tie-in, the B1G has not had an eligible team.
I only filled out the majors 2 more than ½ their conference, but don't be surprised if the majors add 1 more tie-in just in case. These bowls would want at least 1 reliable tie in, but would love to have a major when available... something like PAC with Idaho, Big 12 with Texas, SEC and ACC with Alabama and Louisiana, and the B1G with an alternate to all of these.
Balance Check - I only paid cursory attention to the diversity of conferences and geography on my initial pass. In a final check, the natural pecking order resulted in the desired diversity.
Expect the B1G tradition of losing in bowls to continue. With the Bowl schedule Delany is likely to assemble .500 would be kicking ass. Expect the B1G to be playing a team that finished higher in another conference and/or play in their footprint in most bowls, and only play a team that finished lower if the playoffs skew the selections.