The college football bowl system will undergo a seismic shift starting next year, and I’m not just talking about the College Football Playoff. While the Power Five conferences take control of the upper end of college football’s postseason, the other five leagues – American, Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt and MAC – are doing the same at the opposite end.
We wrote about the Bahamas Bowl, a joint agreement among all five conferences led by the MAC and Conference USA, last week. Now ESPN has announced the creation of yet another new bowl game – the Boca Raton Bowl, beginning in 2014. The game will be played at the 30,000-seat FAU Stadium. Conference USA, the American and the MAC will share tie-ins over a six year contract.
But wait, there’s more! Orlando has worked to get a third bowl game – the Cure Bowl – and could finally be successful in 2014, and the Sun Belt and MAC have explored possibilities of a new bowl at War Memorial Stadium in Little Rock, Ark.
For what it’s worth, Conference USA has existing tie ins with the New Orleans Bowl, Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg, the Hawaii Bowl, the Military Bowl in Washington, D.C., the Liberty Bowl and the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The MAC has tie-ins with the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise, the Pizza Bowl in Detroit and the GoDaddy Bowl in Mobile. Among the American’s bowl games are the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Pinstripe, Belk, Liberty and BBVA Compass bowls.
Most (if not all) of the existing tie-ins expire after this season.
With conferences taking control of their own postseason destinies, now may officially be time to panic if you’re the New Mexico Bowl or the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.
With the Boca Bowl now a reality, here’s hoping they follow Seinfeld fan Stewart Mandel’s suggestion.
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) October 11, 2013