Changes are coming to bowl season.
WatchStadium’s Brett McMurphy noted a raft of changes to the 2020 (note: not 2019) bowl game schedule which change the conference’s travel calculus after the College Football Playoff and top-tier bowl games like the Citrus Bowl and Outback Bowl. Feel free to click that link and read the changes (watch out for autoplay video). On the whole, this is a mixed bag for the conference.
B1G changes, summarized:
- Out: Holiday Bowl, Gator Bowl (had been a 1⁄2 split with the ACC)
- In: Music City Bowl full-time (had been a 1⁄2 split with the ACC) vs. SEC, Belk Bowl 1⁄2-time vs. ACC, Las Vegas Bowl 1⁄2-time vs. Pac-12
Is this good? Meh.
- The Music City Bowl is an unequivocally-good full-time bowl game for the Big Ten, especially given that it replaces a split with the Gator Bowl, which is a tougher ask in terms of travel. Mediocre Big Ten teams like Purdue and Northwestern made the trip in decent numbers the last two years, and in the future, middling programs like Minnesota and Michigan will no doubt take their talents down I-65 to Nashville.
- Similarly, a split (with the SEC) that involves sending the Big Ten to Las Vegas?! HELL YEAH! It’s a similar matchup to the San Francisco/Kraft Fight Hunger/Redbox Bowl, but in Vegas, so you can get there for much cheaper.
- Unfortunately, the other side of that split involves a trip to Charlotte to watch a game that sounds vaguely like a bodily function: The Belk Bowl. Gross.
- And I’ll miss the Holiday Bowl. In the six seasons of Big Ten-vs.-Pac-12 in San Diego, only one game—the 2018 iteration of Michigan State against Wazzu—was uncompetitive.
- Finally, these changes don’t correct a net deficit in the Big Ten’s bowl season: A complete lack of Big Ten-Big XII matchups, when the conference inevitably fails to get enough teams eligible to play some crappy game in Dallas. Bring back the Alamo Bowl.
Rate these changes to the Big Ten bowl lineup:
This poll is closed
A: Hell yeah! Vegas, baby!
B: A net gain with Vegas and Nashvegas, but I’m sad to lose the Holiday and add the Belk.
C: The good equals the bad.
D: A net loss of two warm-weather locations, nothing great added.
F: This is terrible.