Any word on how the SEC conference office will choose who goes where? Will it be like the Big Ten's tiered system? Or are they going to create a documented ranking/tiebreaker system ahead of time?
It doesn’t look as though there will be many surprises when the Southeastern Conference reveals its new bowl lineup. As expected, the league will partner with two new bowls as it branches a hair to the east and an inch to the west. For the most part, the league’s roster of bowl will be pretty similar. Here’s how things are expected to shake out (in most years) beginning in 2014:
Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans): Will get the highest-ranked SEC team that does not gain an invitation to the College Football Playoff to face off against the highest-ranked Big XII team not making the playoffs.
Discover Orange Bowl (Miami gardens): Will get an occasional SEC squad (as part of a rotation with the Big Ten and Notre Dame) to face a team from the ACC.
Capital One Bowl (Orlando): Will get the first selection from the remaining SEC teams. A Big Ten team will be the foe in most years with an ACC squad serving as a potential fallback.
The SEC office will determine which league teams fill the remaining six bowls.
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis): Will feature SEC against Big XII
Belk Bowl (Charlotte): Will feature SEC against ACC
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville): Will feature SEC against ACC or Big Ten
Outback Bowl (Tampa): Will feature SEC against Big Ten
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville): Will feature SEC against ACC or Big Ten
Texas Bowl (Houston): Will feature SEC against Big XII
At MrSEC.com, our biggest complaint is the SEC’s decision to simply remain in its current footprint (with Charlotte — a just off the South Carolina border — being a slight exception). Our next biggest complaint is that the SEC will not see a single Pac-12 team in a bowl game. In our view, the league should have looked at the Pinstripe Bowl (an SEC team in the snow at Yankee Stadium… yes, please) and/or the Maaco Bowl Las Vegas (that’s the correct name). SEC fans would likely enjoy a Christmas trip to the Big Apple or Sin City. Alas, the league has taken the predictable path instead.
As for the griping we mentioned in the headline, Mike Slive said earlier this offseason that he an the league office take heat over bowl selections anyway, so they might as well just start deciding who goes where. Makes sense, but the complaints are only to going to grow louder. Over the next six years — that’s how long these new bowl contracts will run — imagine how many fanbases will yelp that the league office hates their schools and loves another when their school is assigned to play in a lesser bowl game. If you like conspiracy theories, you’re gonna love this new bowl-distribution plan.
Other than that? Yawn. It’s business as usual. Staying Down South to play teams from just three conferences, one of which — the ACC — SEC squads see regularly anyway. We see it as a missed opportunity for the Southeastern Conference.