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Big XII/SEC Bowl Agreement Could Be Nothing More Than An Over-hyped Cotton Bowl

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ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06:  Tyler Wilson #8 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - JANUARY 06: Tyler Wilson #8 of the Arkansas Razorbacks runs the ball against the Kansas State Wildcats during the Cotton Bowl at Cowboys Stadium on January 6, 2012 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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I'm all for anything that brings more attention to the Big XII, especially if it helps to lure a couple more heavy weights into the conference. However, I'm not sure that I'm as excited about this new bowl agreement as everyone else because I'm pretty sure that we already have something very similar in the Cotton Bowl. Yeah, I know, the Cotton Bowl doesn't pitch the two champions together but then again, this new agreement won't do it with any regularity either.

According to the agreement, the two conference champions will play each other in the post-season bowl game unless one, or both, of them are involved in a BCS championship format. Here's what that essentially means to us fans. Instead of seeing Oklahoma and LSU regularly in a bowl match-up were going to get Kansas State and Arkansas instead.

I'm certainly not complaining. Oklahoma, Texas, LSU, Alabama and Florida have been regulars in BCS championship games which would exclude them from playing in this bowl. In the sixteen years of the Big Twelve's existence we would have only seen the conference champions play each other three times under this format (Nebraksa/Alabama `99, Colorado/LSU `01, Oklahoma/Georgis `02). We would have seen runner-ups playing in all of the other years because one or both champions were in the BCS Title game. So if you're expecting OU/Alabama every year then you're sorely mistaken.

A at who would have played in this bowl over the last 16 years according to the current agreement. Hat tip to SBN Houston for doing the work

  • 1996: Texas (Big 12 Champion) vs. Alabama (runner-up, Florida to national title game)
  • 1997: Texas A&M (runner-up, Nebraska to national title game) vs. Tennessee (SEC Champion)
  • 1998: Texas A&M (Big 12 Champion) vs. Mississippi State (runner-up, Tennessee to national title game)
  • 1999: Nebraska (Big 12 Champion) vs. Alabama (SEC Champion)
  • 2000: Kansas State (runner-up, Oklahoma to national title game) vs. Florida (SEC Champion)
  • 2001: Colorado (Big 12 Champion) vs. LSU (SEC Champion)
  • 2002: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. Georgia (SEC Champion)
  • 2003: Kansas State* (Big 12 Champion) vs. Georgia (runner-up, LSU to national title game)
  • 2004: Colorado (runner-up, Oklahoma to national title game) vs. Auburn (SEC Champion)
  • 2005: Colorado (runner-up, Texas to national title game) vs. Georgia (SEC Champion)
  • 2006: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. Arkansas (runner-up, Florida to national title game)
  • 2007: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. Tennessee (runner-up, LSU to national title game)
  • 2008: Missouri (runner-up, Oklahoma to national title game) vs. Alabama (runner-up, Florida to national title game)
  • 2009: Nebraska (runner-up, Texas to national title game) vs. Florida (runner-up, Alabama to national title game)
  • 2010: Oklahoma (Big 12 Champion) vs. South Carolina (runner-up, Auburn to national title game)
  • 2011: Oklahoma State (Big 12 Champion) vs. Georgia (second runner-up at 7-1, LSU and Alabama to national title game)

The value in this agreement is that it gives second tier programs in each conference the opportunity to play in a major bowl on New Year's Day. That in itself is an attractive proposition to prospective new members to the Big XII. Every team new team (WVU, TCU and beyond) will come into the conference thinking that they have a chance to win it but now they have a nice fallback in knowing that they could reach a BCS type game if they just get close to winning.

Considering that the last nine BCS championship games have featured either a Big XII or SEC school then there is very little reason to believe that this bowl game is going to actually be as advertised. Instead what it is going to do is develop a post-season monopoly for the two conferences that will draw in more recruits, more money and more attention than every before. That's certainly not a bad thing...unless you're the Cotton Bowl who just got bumped down to a third tier bowl.