The last of the big-boy football conferences has announced its bowl lineup for the dawn of a new postseason era in college football, and it just so happens to be the league that has won the past seven BCS championships.
The SEC announced Monday afternoon that it has reached an agreement with a handful of bowl games, which will go into effect for the 2014 season and, as was the case with other conferences, run through the 2019 season. The only new agreements announced were with the Texas Bowl (formerly the Meineke Car Care Bowl, vs. Big 12) and the Belk Bowl (vs. ACC).
The other agreements that were extended include the Capital One Bowl (vs. Big Ten/ACC), Outback Bowl (vs. Big Ten), Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (vs. ACC/Big Ten), TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (vs. ACC/Big Ten) and AutoZone Liberty Bowl (vs. Big 12).
Those seven games are in addition to previously-announced agreements with the Sugar Bowl and the Orange Bowl (in select years).
“We are pleased to have established a lineup of premier bowl games that will give our student-athletes a wonderful post-season experience and our fans the opportunity to travel to venues in the geographical footprint of the conference,” commissioner Mike Slive said in a statement.
Perhaps the biggest news in the release is the new process that will determine which SEC teams go to what bowls.
The Capital One Bowl will have the first selection of available SEC teams after any conference schools have qualified for the College Football Playoff (the new system for determining a national champion beginning with the 2014 season), the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Discover Orange Bowl.
After that, though, the selection process has drastically changed. A pool comprised of the six bowl games after the Capital One will, in consultation with SEC member institutions, take SEC teams as assigned by the conference.
Said Slive of the new way of assigning teams to bowls, “This bowl process gives us the best opportunity to address several issues that impact SEC fans, including the creation of intriguing matchups, the accommodation of travel for fans, reduced ticket obligations for our schools and a variety of assignments to help prevent repetitive postseason destinations”