I personally would have loved to see Las Vegas or San Diego added to the mix. It would have given the teams a new experience. However I can understand the leagues resistance to a fly over game. Plane tickets are expensive, and going up. Since the Las Vegas Bowl would have been against the MWC first pick, how much demand would a Auburn/Boise St. game have, or Miss St./Wyoming, or SoCar/UNLV. How many people would have been willing/able to shell out $50+ per ticket, and $400+ for round trip tickets, plus food and lodging. The Holiday Bowl vs a top level PAC12 team would have had more draw, but you are still talking a couple of $1000's to attend a game across the country. All of the games the SEC has are drive to locations. The SEC probably received much more favorable deals (lower ticket guarantees, etc) from these bowls that would allow the conference and schools to be more profitable on the games. So as boring as the line up is - it will make the schools/conference more money that a fly over destination on the west coast.
If you were holding out hope for a surprise matchup against with the Pac-12 or a new bowl outside the SEC’s footprint, you’re plain outta luck.
Here’s how the SEC’s new bowl selection process will work:
* The College Football Playoff selection committee will get the first opportunity to grab one (or more) SEC squads for its four-team playoff.
* The next best team in the SEC will be slotted into the Allstate Sugar Bowl (in years when that game is not a playoff semifinal).
* As part of a rotation, the next best SEC team will occasionally be chosen to take part in the Discover Orange Bowl.
* The Capital One Bowl will then choose an SEC squad for its game. That’s quite a fall for a game that for much of the ’90s g0t the SEC’s second-best team.
* After those bowls, a pool of six more games will exist. According to the league office: “In consultation with SEC member institutions, as well as these six bowls, the conference will make the assignments for the bowl games in this newly created pool system.” Mike Slive is quoted in the league’s PR release: “This bowl process gives us the best opportunity to address several issues that impact SEC fans, including the creation of intriguing matchups, the accommodation of travel for fans, reduced ticket obligations for our schools and a variety of assignments to help prevent repetitive postseason destinations.”
* The six bowls in the pool will be the Outback Bowl, the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, as well as new partners the Texas Bowl (Houston) and the Belk Bowl (Charlotte).
* If there are still more bowl-eligible SEC teams, the Birmingham Bowl (currently looking for a new title sponsor) will get the first selection.
* The Advocare V100 Bowl will then get the last selection, again, if there are enough bowl-eligible teams to fill all of those slots.
While we believe that SEC fans might like an occasional travel opportunity outside the league’s footprint, the Slive makes it clear that he and the league’s presidents feel differently. “We are pleased to have established a lineup of premier bowl games that will give our student-athletes a wonderful postseason experience and our fans the opportunity to travel to venues in the geographical footprint of the conference.”
Sorry, but a trip to either San Diego, Las Vegas or New York City would make a nice December trip for one SEC fanbase each season. Instead, two cities not exactly known as vacation hotspots — Houston and Charlotte — have been added to the league’s menu of games. We’ll grant ya that hose are nice, big cities with nice, big stadiums and nice, big payouts for the league and its members. But unless someone’s got family there, no one is saying, “Honey, how ’bout we Christmas in Houston this year!?!”
Below is a listing of the conferences that will be providing opponents for each of the SEC’s future bowl partners:
College Football Playoff (rotating destinations) — SEC vs ???
Allstate Sugar Bowl (New Orleans) — SEC vs Big XII
Discover Orange Bowl (Miami) — SEC vs ACC
Capital One Bowl (Orlando) — SEC vs Big Ten or ACC
Outback Bowl (Tampa) — SEC vs Big Ten
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl (Nashville) — SEC vs ACC or Big Ten
TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl (Jacksonville) — SEC vs ACC or Big Ten
AutoZone Liberty Bowl (Memphis) — SEC vs Big XII
Texas Bowl (Houston) — SEC vs Big XII
Belk Bowl (Charlotte) — SEC vs ACC
Birmingham Bowl (Birmingham) — SEC vs ???
Advocare V100 Bowl (Shreveport) — SEC vs ACC
Hope you like seeing SEC teams play against ACC, Big Ten and Big XII teams, ’cause they’ll rarely be seeing anyone else.