A lot of talk and hullabaloo was made over the possibility of a brand new bowl game for the 2014 season featuring the champion of the Big 12 vs. the champion of the SEC and it was named the "Champions Bowl." Well, for all of that blustering it turns out the Champions Bowl is more like the Allstate Sugar Bowl, just with different teams. Hurray for more money grabs!!
In a release made public earlier tonight the Big 12 and SEC announced a 12 year agreement to play the bowl game and awarded the host to the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Starting on January 1, 2015 the game will take place annually on ESPN and will come on the air following the Rose Bowl.
So, instead of the SEC champion vs. an at-large opponent it's the SEC champion vs. the Big 12 champion and it's still the Allstate Sugar Bowl, got all of that? Nothing to see here, just keep on going about your lives.
According to reports New Orleans beat out the bid of the Cotton Bowl for the game as those were the two finalists.
Of course should one or both of the champions of these conferences make the new BCS Playoffs (or whatever BS name they'll tie to it) the new Sugar Bowl will not have the pick of the champion(s) from that/those conference(s).
Seriously, it's all about money for these two conferences, as according to reports ESPN will be paying $80 million a year for the rights to broadcast the bowl game. Also, the SEC got what it wanted in keeping this game in the middle of it's footprint nationally. Not only that but nearly annually since the first Sugar Bowl in 1935 the SEC has placed a team in the game.
If you are a fan of the history of the game at least that wasn't completely put aside for money this time around.
But seriously, may we offer up a name change anyway? Perhaps call it the Stevia Bowl? I mean after all it would offer up the possibility to open up more marketing dollars to the companies that produce the sugar substitute and a matchup between the SEC and Big 12 champions is about 40% sweeter than what we've seen from this game in the last 10 years or so… Or maybe we just stay with tradition a bit, huh?
What do the commissioners have to say? Well, here are the words of Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby in their entirety.
For more of Andy's college sports musings and thoughts on life make sure to follow him on Twitter at @andycoppens.