With the constant shake-ups caused by realignment across the college football landscape, new scenarios about the future of playoff systems in the game seems up in the air.
The Big 12 and SEC, however, aren’t waiting for anyone to determine their fate, as they have announced via press release a new post-season bowl game will be launched starting in 2014 featuring the winners of both powerhouse conferences.
If one of the two conference winners is chosen to play in the new four-team playoff scenario which holds favor with college administrators and athletic directors, another team will be chosen to represent each conference in the new bowl game.
According to a press release by the Big 12, and commissioner Chuck Neinas, part of the intent is to bring a level of excitement back to New Year’s Day, which at one time was the pinnacle of college football’s post-season competition:
Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year’s Day prime-time tradition. 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.
There is no doubt this is a proactive move by two conferences which promise to continue to have a stronghold on the game of college football for many years to come. By creating their own post-season bowl game, both the SEC and Big 12 have put additional pressure on the BCS to react, and determine what role it intends to play in the new playoff framework starting in 2014.
The host site(s) for the game have yet to be determined, and will likely rotate over the initial 5-year term of the agreement between conferences. It’s reasonable to assume none of these sites will be “home” stadiums of teams in either conference, but rather major cities which split the markets like Dallas, Atlanta, Kansas City, New Orleans, and others.
Critics of the new bowl game argue that the SEC and Big 12 have just created “another Rose Bowl” which, in essence, isn’t far from the truth.
If conferences the resources, and foresight to do so, however, why shouldn’t they?
In the rapidly evolving world of college football there are few certainties, and schools at the top of the heap have to do all they can to ensure they stay there.
It’s just the nature of things.