Adam Rittenberg at ESPN.com has posted what he believes will be the new bowl lineup for the Big Ten. It's not quite what I had dreamed of, but it's pretty good.
Say Hello to Jacksonville.
It seems all but official that we will end our relationship with the Alamo Bowl this Fall. Since the bowl's origin in 1993, the Big Ten only had one year in which it has not participated. The Iowa Hawkeyeshave been to the most Alamo Bowls, winning two of their four appearances. Eight of the Eleven Big Ten teams have appeared in the Alamo Bowl - only Illinois, Minnesota, and Indiana have never gone. I wouldn't be surprised to see Illinois make it a ninth Big Ten team this year.
Could it be a Juicy Alamo Bowl this year?
The Alamo Bowl has always been one of the best attended and best viewed bowl games, and it is a shame not be a part of it.
However, it is very exciting to think that the Big Ten will be the Official Conference of New Year's Day! Replacing the Alamo Bowl will be an association with the Gator Bowl. The third or fourth Big Ten selection (post-BCS picks) team will face the second ACC selection (post-BCS picks) on New Year's Day. That's great. The top four affiliated bowls all play on 1/1. The traditionalist in me likes that.
The Big Ten will continue its affiliations with the Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Insight Bowl (which will rotate the 3rd/4thPicks withthe Gator Bowl and match up with the 4th non-BCS pick of the Big 12), and Motor City Bowl (still the 6th non-BCS pick against a MAC team).
The conference is apparently still trying to line up the bowl for the 5th non-BCS pick. It may be the Texas Bowl in Houston. It may be the Car Care Bowl in Charlotte. Time will tell.
Here's a look at how this would have changed the Big Ten's Bowl Lineup last year:
|Big Ten Team||2008 Bowl||Opponent||New Bowl Lineup||Opponent|
|Michigan State||Capital One||Georgia||Capital One||Georgia|
|Iowa||Outback||South Carolina||Outback||South Carolina|
|Minnesota||Insight||Kansas||Texas/Car Care||At Large/North Carolina|
I think that's a good change on the back end. If it's Texas, it's a good trip to a fertile recruiting location. I would anticipate that it will draw a low level Big 12 team most years. Just as the Big Ten couldn't fill the Motor City Bowl in 2008, the Big 12 couldn't fill two bowls last year. If it's the Car Care Bowl, I would suspect that it will be against a 4th or 5th choice from the ACC.