The Big Ten had eight wide receivers named to the watch list for the Biletnikoff Award, which is awarded to the top wide receiver in college football this week and today the Detroit Lions officially confirmed and announced plans for a new bowl game involving the Big Ten as a partner. Insert your Matt Millen wide receiver NFL Draft pick jokes here folks. Go ahead, we'll give you a couple of moments to get them out of your system.
All done? We'll carry on.
The partnership between the Detroit Lions and Big Ten had been reported previously so this was all just a matter of time before becoming official it seems. The partnership makes all sorts of sense as the Big Ten looks for ways to mix up their bowl rotation and provide a variety of destinations for its members eligible for the postseason. According to the release by the Lions, the six-year agreement with the Big Ten kicks off in 2014 and is tentatively scheduled for December 30, depending on television arrangements. The game officially replaces the Little Caesars' Pizza Bowl in Ford Field.
While some conferences set up an order of bowl selections for their members, Jim Delany and the Big Ten continue to explore the idea of negotiating bowl slots and teams with the bowls to ensure more variety for the conference, which is designed to prevent schools from making the same similar trips on an annual basis. the only guaranteed bowl slot for the Big Ten is the Rose Bowl. This also gives the Big Ten two postseason homes in NFL stadiums, with the Big Ten championship game having been played in Indianapolis. This also is added to the Big Ten's new home in Yankee Stadium in the partnership with the New York Yankees and the Pinstripe Bowl.
Who is next? The Los Angeles Lakers and a special indoor game in Staples Center?
The timing of this announcement is somewhat funny as well. Big Ten media day is next week, which would have been a more appropriate time to release this news. Instead the Lions and Big Ten make the announcement as Johnny Manziel is attending SEC media day. Well played Mr. Delany. A bold Pr move, but ultimately this just does not have the sizzle offered by the 20-year old Heisman Trophy winner (in case you missed it today, Manziel says he is 20 years old).