With what appears to be a four team playoff looming, the SEC and Big 12 have decided to up the stakes. The SEC released a statement that they will be putting their leagues’ champion in a New Year’s Day bowl, most probably be the Cotton Bowl, starting in January of 2015 and will continue to play through 2020.
This move rivals the B1G/PAC 12 alliance in the Rose Bowl and would almost assure the SEC, Big 12, PAC 12, and B1G of filling up the proposed four team playoff system.
“A new January bowl tradition is born,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience.”
“Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year’s Day prime-time tradition,” said acting Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas. “This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football.”
Where does this leave the ACC, Big East, and Notre Dame? Not in a very good spot, especially since the ACC is making terrible TV decisions, not looking very solid as a major football conference, and pissing Florida State off. The Seminoles may want to consider their conference options with a little more vigor.
Neinas addressed the Florida State issue.
“We did before,” Neinas said, referring to interested parties in general. “Who? Maybe some old folks, maybe some new ones. Have we had any conversations with Florida State? No.”
Boise State re-affirmed their commitment to join the Big East as a football school, and still has to find a home for their other sports, but maybe with Boise State the Big East has a reason to say they belong in the BCS, that is if Boise can go undefeated or lose only one game without their golden boy Kellen Moore. If the Big East team isn’t undefeated, they will most probably be left out. That’s just the way it goes. People want a playoff of the best teams, and in order to get the best teams you have to actually take the BEST teams, unfortunately for the Big East, they cannot begin to compare to the 4 major conferences.
Also, Notre Dame may want to actually consider joining a conference with the four majors having alliances now.
“I don’t think Notre Dame is going to join a league,” Neinas said. “They’re in the process of extending their contract with NBC. No, I don’t see any pressure on them.”
While I don’t disagree with Neinas’ comments, I do think Notre Dame may need to look into their options of conference affiliation. Whether it’s the Big 10, where they could bring NBC with them and combine that with the B1G Network, or the Big 12 where they’d have to compete with the Longhorn Network, Notre Dame should seriously consider making a move or risk being left out of the playoffs.