New Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco received a sobering welcome to the world of the BCS and bowl arrangements among conferences this week.
When Aresco was on the other side of the table, negotiating deals for CBS television, the conference commissioners and the bowl reps had more give than take in their message. But as a new commissioner of a football conference which was changing and losing juice with each change, Aresco received nothing but unemotional business responses as he searched for a landing place for his conference champion in the next bowl deal.
The Big East had been one of the original BCS partners in the mix with a guaranteed slot–right next to the SEC, Big Ten, Pac-12, Big 12 and ACC.
Not this time.
The Big East, which had used the Orange Bowl as a safe haven in recent years for its champion, has been basically told by the ACC, Big 10 and SEC and Notre Dame–the ACC champion’s probable opponents in a new Orange Bowl deal–that if it wanted a spot for its champion it needed to find its own bowl.
But that sounded a little harsh and was a little harsh. So here’s the deal that was set up, but not officially accepted yet.
A a 7th bowl will be part of the group, offering a guaranteed spot to the highest ranked team available.
While there will be guaranteed spots for the conference champions from the ACC, Big 12, SEC, Pac-12 and Big Ten,, the other conferences, including the Big East, will also have a guaranteed slot for the highest ranked team from that group.
The Big East’ gamble is that with the addition of Boise State and perhaps BYU in the next few years, as well as improvement from schools such as Louisville, Cincinnati and the other Big East schools, it will almost always have the highest ranked team from that group.
That team will then play its game either at the Fiesta Bowl, which is not locked up, or in bowls in New Orleans, Dallas, Houston or Atlanta, which are the most likely other sites that will be included in the group of seven.
As an additional compromise, the Big East will be allowed to create its own bowl game as a landing area for its champion in the years that it is not ranked high enough to make the first cut of games.
None of this has officially been voted upon, but sources throughout the conferences and bowls feel it is a mere formality in approving the plan.
© 2012, Mark. All rights reserved.