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Big 12 looking into Florida bowls makes sense

Bob Bowlsby AP

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby raised a few eyebrows late last week when he told the Austin-American Statesman that preliminary discussions about an alliance with the ACC and possibly as many as two other conferences over scheduling/marketing/TV were underway.

While there are no real legs underneath the project yet, it’s an alternative to conference expansion in which the Big 12 could gain more exposure and brand recognition in markets it wouldn’t normally occupy without actually adding members. Another way to do that is bowl agreements.

Bowlsby said Tuesday that the Big 12 is looking into tie-ins with the Capital One Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl, both of which will have slots available after next season. Not so coincidentally, the Big Ten, SEC and ACC have ties to those bowls, respectively.

“California, Florida, and Texas comprise more recruits than the whole rest of the country combined,” Bowlsby said. “That’s been a shortcoming of our bowl lineup in the past, and we need to fix it if we can.”

From the sound of it, a Big 12 partnership with one or more conferences is a ways off; a bowl agreement in talent-rich Florida, on the other hand, is a simpler way to expand the Big 12′s footprint. It could eventually work out that a partnership with another conference and bowl tie-in go hand in hand (see: Sugar Bowl). There are a lot of options on the table.

The Big 12 continues to insist to anyone who asks that the conference is perfectly content with 10 members, though Bowlsby adds that his office is always monitoring the college athletics landscape. That’s a pretty standard answer, but right now the Big 12 is  looking to expand its footprint without actually expanding its membership.

(Hat tip: Kirk Bohls, Austin-American Statesman) 

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8 Responses to “Big 12 looking into Florida bowls makes sense”
  1. thegamecocker says: Jan 29, 2013 7:48 PM

    Now there is a novel approach to expansion. Alliances with-in bowl games makes some sense. It could also pave the way for having more dollars flow to the Big 12 and ACC without disturbing the many rivalries within those conferences. About now it looks like West Virgina is to the Big 12 what Boston College is to the ACC. However BC will soon have closer company with Pitt and Syracuse in that conference. It will be interesting to see if the Bowlsby approach goes anywhere,

  2. drummerhoff says: Jan 29, 2013 9:45 PM

    Here comes FSU and Miami.

  3. goodfieldnohit says: Jan 29, 2013 10:51 PM

    The 5th place team in the SEC just beat your conference’s best team by 28 points in the Cotton Bowl.

    Who in their right mind would want to add MORE teams from the Big WTF to their bowl arrangements?

  4. deadeye says: Jan 29, 2013 11:57 PM

    “Here comes FSU and Miami.”

    ==================

    @drummerhoff

    Do those two leave before UVA? It’s too close to call at this point.

  5. gatorprof says: Jan 30, 2013 5:45 AM

    yawn…

    If you want to become more relevant, field better teams.

  6. wvucolumbus says: Jan 30, 2013 6:42 AM

    The access to Florida bowls will certainly help XII’s exposure to the Sunshine State.

    The inevitable additions of FSU and Miami to XII will be more fruitful, in terms of Florida access.

  7. lastdukestreetking says: Jan 30, 2013 9:09 AM

    @goodfieldnohit – A&M was the 2nd best SEC team by season’s end.

  8. scalpemseminoles says: Jan 30, 2013 9:33 AM

    just talk to the seminoles and ask us out on a date, big 12

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