June 5th, 2012 10:03 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Independence Bowl, North Carolina, SEC, Sugar Bowl
It appears that the SEC is getting back together with an old girlfriend. The Independence Bowl — according to a report from CBSSports.com — will become the SEC’s 10th bowl tie-in partner for the next two seasons. The SEC’s current bowl contracts all expire after the 2013 season and new many new questions will be answered at that time. (Will there be a playoff? Where will the Big 12-SEC “Champions Bowl” be played? What about the SEC’s tie to the Sugar Bowl?)
While CBS reports the deal is done, bowl officials in Shreveport aren’t ready to make an announcement just yet. “I can’t comment on anything right now,” said the bowl’s executive director, Missy Setters, to The Shreveport Times.
The SEC had a tie-in with the Louisiana-based game from 1995 through 2009. In that final SEC game, Georgia faced new SEC rival Texas A&M. Last year, with Missouri getting the shaft from the Big 12 on the bowl front, the SEC reportedly helped open the door for it’s other expansion partner to go to Shreveport to face North Carolina. Now those two new SEC members have led Mike Slive to find a new bowl partner and return to the Independence Bowl on a regular basis… for two years, anyway.
The game will feature the 10th selection from the SEC taking on the seventh selection from the ACC. It’s the third SEC-ACC bowl matchup, along with the Chick-fil-A and Music City Bowls. This year’s game will have a 2pm ET kickoff on Friday, December 28th.
That’s 10 tie-ins for the SEC — more than any other conference — but with 14 schools in the conference don’t be surprised to see Slive and company cut another deal with a Texas-based bowl. The league had nine tie-ins for a 12-team league last season.
All of the bowl selections could be impacted, of course, by the number of SEC teams grabbing BCS slots the next two seasons, too.
The full list of SEC bowl partners for 2012 is: Sugar Bowl, Capital One Bowl, Cotton Bowl, Outback Bowl, Chick-fil-A Bowl, Gator Bowl, Music City Bowl, Liberty Bowl, BBVA Compass Bowl, and now Independence Bowl.
Beginning in 2014, we expect to see the SEC with tie-ins to more than one bowl in Texas and a tie to a new St. Louis-based bowl that’s currently just a whisper in the wind.
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