What does the SEC-Big 12 bowl alliance mean?


(Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman)

Friday afternoon, the Southeastern and Big 12 Conferences announced an agreement that might yet again change the landscape of college football. If both conference’s champion doesn’t make it into the four-team tournament for the national title, those two teams will face off in a super-bowl of sorts.

Those two sentences were a lot to swallow, I know. So let’s break this down, piece by piece.

First and foremost, this agreement seems to suggest one thing is imminent — a four-team playoff to decide college football’s champion. When you were a kid, did you ever start denying you did something before your parents even found out it happened? That seems to be the case here, too; these two conferences are tipping their hand and telling the sports world that we’re getting close to a playoff.

So, assuming the sport is moving toward a postseason playoff, is there any possibility we’ll ever see both the SEC and Big 12 champion not making it into the final four?

According to ESPN Stats & Info, this “Champions Bowl” would have occurred four times since the BCS era began. So, yes, it is possible.

Now … where to play this game?

I’m not sure this is going to be a game the BCS bowls will take on like the Rose Bowl has done with the Big Ten/Pac-12 agreement. But if it is going to be usurped by one of the BCS bowls, you have to figure it will be the Sugar Bowl. New Orleans is near the middle of the two conferences, so it makes perfect sense.

Jerryworld in Dallas would be another option, but why not Atlanta?

If the Champions Bowl is going to be played on New Year’s Day, that would be the day after the Chick-Fil-A Bowl, so they would have the venue available every year. Atlanta is as easy a hub as any for Big 12 fans to fly into, and the SEC always packs their half of the Georgia Dome every year. The Big 12 would rise to the challenge, too.

Finally, does this new agreement push Florida State even closer to the ledge? Is this the last straw that will make them want to depart for the Big 12?

I don’t think so.

If the move would really be about money (which it would be) I don’t see why this announcement would matter until a dollar amount for the Champions Bowl is announced. It can’t be about competition — FSU is 3-0 against the SEC in their last three games, so that shouldn’t be a factor no matter what.

It pushes the ACC further into football irrelevance, but they’re already left out of the major discussions. They could join a similar agreement with the Big East, but don’t they already have that with the Orange Bowl?

This doesn’t help the ACC, though, because the four best football conferences are forming alliances with each other. College football is looking more like a game of musical chairs. There are only four chairs left, but six conferences. The ACC and Big East are still standing.

How much longer can they remain standing if football is the main focus in college sports?

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