The SEC’s football postseason will dawn a new age starting the 2014-15 season, the league announced on Monday. The league reached a new six-year bowl lineup agreement which will potentially send as many as ten of their conference teams to postseason bowl games each year, all due to the new College Football Playoff starting up next season.
Starting in 2014, the SEC will have a guaranteed 10 bowl games for the 14 members of the conference. The Belk Bowl in Charlotte, NC and the Texas Bowl in Houston, TX will replace the Cotton Bowl as well as the Chick-fil-A Bowl as SEC postseason bowl games. The Cotton and Chick-fil-A bowls will begin their start in 2015 as sites for either the College Football playoff or BCS bowls each year . The Cotton Bowl started as an SEC tie-in in 1999 while Chick-fil-A has hosted an SEC team since 1988. The site of the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, Arlington, TX, is the host site of the inaugural College Football Playoff Finals in January 2015.
It was learned today, the SEC Champion, if not included in the four team playoff in select years, would be selected to either the Allstate Sugar Bowl or the Discover Orange Bowl. However, today it was learned that the second choice behind that Champion or any at-large SEC teams in the BCS would be selected to the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, FL. The bowl would pit the Big Ten, unless chosen for the Orange Bowl, and in that occurrence the ACC would be chosen to play the SEC opponent.
In addition, SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s announcement Monday also presented a unique twist to the conference’s upcoming bowl lineup. The SEC in 2015 will begin a process of selecting the teams for the No. 2 through No. 7 spots in the league’s bowl pecking order. The six bowls will be comprised in a pool together each year, and teams will not necessarily be selected based off their overall performance.
Commissioner Slive believes this will make a major impact on the SEC in a variety of ways. It will present non-repetitive destinations for teams year-by-year and the conference will be engaged with possible intriguing matchups. The matchups for SEC fans should be just like Slive said, intriguing. The lineup features games with the three of the biggest power conferences : The Big Ten/ACC conferences; Capital One (Big Ten/ACC), Outback ( Big Ten), Music City (ACC/Big Ten), Gator (ACC/Big Ten), Belk (ACC), and the Big 12 conference, with the Texas and Liberty Bowls.
The SEC’s final two bowl slots will be the AdvoCare V100 Bowl based in Shreveport, LA, featuring a possible date with the ACC, while the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, AL, pairing hasn’t yet been announced. It’s highly unlikely that Birmingham will ever get an SEC team; the SEC routinely should have at least two in the BCS or playoff. Getting twelve conference teams bowl eligible is next to impossible.