My perfect Big Ten bowl scenario
Bring in San Diego, San Francisco, NYC
Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said Wednesday that there "could be a lot" of new bowls in the Big Ten's next bowl-rotation.
What tells me is that there will be a lot of bowls in the Big Ten's next bowl-rotation.
Based on previous rumblings, I'm thinking the Holiday and Pinstripe bowls will be two of those. Others would come as a surprise to me, but I hope the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco is considered. That comes as a sportswriter who doesn't care about the matchups as much as the locations. San Diego, New York and San Francisco would be great adds. Shreveport, Mobile, Boise? Not so much.
Something that kind of was announced without a lot of fanfare happened last November when it was announced the Big Ten has an agreement with the Orange Bowl following the 2014 season.
The ACC will have a team in the game each year in that time. The second team will be either from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame. The SEC and Big Ten will have a minimum of three appearances. Notre Dame will have a maximum of two, and no minimum.
The Rose Bowl, meanwhile, is one of six bowls (Rose, Sugar, Orange, Cotton, Fiesta and Peach - the latter was formerly known as the Chick-fil-A Bowl) that will rotate as the two semifinal games for College Football Playoff. So, in two of every three years the highest-available Big Ten team will go somewhere other than the Rose Bowl unless its slotted in the Rose Bowl's national semifinal.
The Big Ten's bowl lineup could use a shakeup. I don't get why the conference has three games that play simultaneously against SEC teams in Florida on Jan. 1. That's what you had last year with the Capital One, Outback and Gator bowls. I don't get why the league's only California bowl is the Rose.
So here's my ideal Big Ten bowl lineup, keeping in mind you can't have all the big bowls and can't avoid a few of the smallest ones. The games are listed in the order in which I'd send teams.
Capital One: I'm no fan of Orlando or its stadium, but this game pits a high-powered SEC team against one of the Big Ten's best, and a lot of tourists actually do enjoy Orlando for reasons that baffle me.
Outback: Good bowl site, good stadium, keep it.
Holiday: This bowl hasn't been ponying up in recent years, and fell down the Big 12's pecking order because of it. But it's San Diego.
Pinstripe: If the Big Ten wants to be a player out East, and it obviously does, get in this game and send decent teams that will make New York take a little notice.
Buffalo Wild Wings: This isn't a bad little bowl, as Iowa can attest with two appearances. Keep it.
Kraft Fight Hunger: This is a Pac-12/ACC game. Get serious, San Francisco. Bounce the ACC, add the Big Ten, and have a minor-league Rose Bowl in a major-league city.
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: The Big Ten should keep one Texas bowl, and this offers more than the Dallas game played at the old Cotton Bowl.
Little Caesars Pizza: Most years, the Big Ten doesn't have enough bowl-eligible teams to make it to this game. Keep the affiliation, knowing you'll be sending a 6-6 team there every other year at most. It's the only bowl in Big Ten country (well, it was until New York and Maryland/Washington, D.C. got added), so continue to support it.
That means I'd not only lose the Heart of Dallas Bowl, but the Gator Bowl. Two Big Ten-SEC games in Florida works fine. Three is a mish-mash.
Here is one more bowl I wouldn't hate: The Las Vegas Bowl. Alas, it's usually played too close to final exams week for comfort at most Big Ten schools).
It's May 1, by the way. The Rose Bowl is eight months from today. The first college football Saturday is in four months.
What, I'm going to write about the Cubs?