Report: Big 12, SEC Agree to Bowl Deal - WVU Football, WVU Basketball, News - Mountaineer Sports

Big 12, SEC Agree to Bowl Deal

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MORGANTOWN -

A day following word of West Virginia's 2014 matchup with Alabama, there is yet another connection between the Big 12 and the SEC.

The two conferences have agreed to meet in a bowl game should both of their champions be left out of a national semifinal once a four-team playoff goes into effect.

"Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year's Day prime-time tradition," Big 12 interim commissioner Chuck Neinas said in a release. "This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football."

Which of the current BCS bowl games would feature this meeting is yet to be determined, but the Sugar Bowl is at the top of the wish list at this point.

The agreement would be similar to the structure of the Rose Bowl, in which the Big 10 and Pac 12 meet if neither has a representative in the national title game. Should either champion be involved in a playoff, the No. 2 team from the conference would likely be invited to whichever bowl is selected.

"A new January bowl tradition is born," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."

You would have to go back to the 2003 season in order to find a situation in which neither conference placed its champion in the national title game and all the way to 2001 for the champion to land outside the top four.

Still, the move will serve as a message to any schools considering a move to the Big 12 that this conference believes it is on the same level with the SEC, which has been at the top of the game in recent years.

A guarantee of a quality bowl matchup like this would be attractive with the automatic qualification of BCS games falling by the wayside under a new postseason structure in the FBS.

As college football expansion continues to dominate much of the conversation within the sport, a move like this appears to be an attempt to separate these two conferences from the rest of the pack.

This bowl structure would begin in the 2014 season should the playoff scenario work out the way it is believed it will. That would give West Virginia the potential to open and close its schedule that year with an SEC opponent.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves.  

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