Last week, BCS executive director Bill Hancock confirmed that a seventh major bowl game could be added to the rotating sites for the semifinal round of a college football playoff. Not but one day later, longtime sports writer Mark Blaudschun reported that a possible seventh game would include the highest-ranked team from the remaining five conferences not currently tied in to a major bowl game (the Big East, Conference USA, MAC, MWC, Sun Belt).
Assuming that all those details come to fruition as reported — that’s still a long way off — the next question would become a matter of who the other opponent would be.
According to the Associated Press‘ Ralph Russo, it would be a representative from either the Big 12 or the Pac-12.
The Pac-12 is locked into the Rose Bowl with the Big Ten through 2026. Likewise, the Big 12 is locked in with the SEC for the Champions Bowl during that same span. What neither of those conferences have, however, is an additional tie-in to another major bowl. A recent report from ESPN says that the Orange Bowl is nearing an agreement that would match the ACC champion against either Notre Dame, a Big Ten or SEC team. That would give the Big Ten and SEC two tie-ins to bowls projected to be major components of a playoff.
For the Big 12 or Pac-12 to want an additional tie-in even if it is against a “best of the rest” opponent is certainly understandable.