The SEC and Big 12 announced a New Years Day bowl partnership today that will take effect following the 2014 season.
The new five year agreement will match up the champions of each conference "unless one or both are selected to play in the new four-team model to determine the national championship." The arrangement is very similar to the agreement between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten for the Rose Bowl.
If either or both conference champs are chosen in the four team playoff model, another deserving team from the proper conference would be selected to participate.
In a release, SEC commissioner Mike Slive stated "A new January bowl tradition is born. This new game will provide a great match-up between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting post-season atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience.”
Acting Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas described the new agreement as a landmark event for college football "between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event."
While hosting a big prime time game featuring the two conference champs on New Years Day is exciting, to keep it all in perspective it's worth noting that both conferences have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings 14 times in the 14 year history of the BCS series, according to the the official release from the Big 12.
"During the 14-year history of the Bowl Championship Series, the Big 12 and SEC lead the nation with 11 seasons in which each conference has had at least one team ranked in the top four of the final BCS standings. Both conferences share the top spot all-time with 14 teams each that have finished in the top four of the final BCS standings. The two conferences have combined for 16 appearances in the BCS National Championship Game, with the Big 12 ranking second behind the SEC's nine appearances with seven trips to the National Championship Game."
All the finer details including the host site are currently being ironed out and will be released at a later date.