Big 12-SEC game is chance for Cotton Bowl
May, 19, 2012
By Richard Durrett | ESPNDallas.com
With the news that the Big 12 and SEC have agreed to have its conference champions -- or it's No. 2 teams should the champions be in the mix for any revamped BCS system starting in the 2014 season -- in a bowl game, you can bet the Cotton Bowl will doing all it can to host that game. Maybe it becomes a fight between the Sugar and Cotton Bowls?
If that's the case, most in college football might argue the Cotton Bowl is the underdog. After all, the SEC is still the top conference in college football and has the tradition of going to the Sugar Bowl and living it up on Bourbon Street. But the Cotton Bowl has some things in its favor, too. And I know college football fans here would love to see that game every New Year's Day night in Dallas' own version of the Rose Bowl. A few things to consider:
* JerryWorld. It's a palace and a stadium that certainly attracts attention. Jerry Jones' football home gives the Cotton Bowl a first-class venue to host that game and a place where SEC and Big 12 teams already have met not only in the Cotton Bowl itself, but in the regular season. One other note: There's a thought out there that Jerry Jones won't let the Sugar Bowl outbid his stadium. But, of course, this is the Cotton Bowl's bid, not Jerry's bid. I'm sure Jones would want that game in his stadium and he'll do what he can to help the Cotton Bowl, but don't assume it's simply just Jerry vs. the Sugar Bowl.
* Location. The Cotton Bowl is in the middle of the country, making it an easy destination for fans of both conferences wanting to attend the game. And with the footprint now even closer to SEC country -- Texas A&M's arrival in the SEC makes that true -- it can say it's in the middle of both conferences.
* Tradition of SEC-Big 12. Since 1999, the Cotton Bowl has had an agreement to host both conferences in its game. So it wouldn't be a change from the Cotton Bowl's current setup. In fact, last year would have been an example of what could happen. The Cotton Bowl hosted Kansas State and Arkansas, neither of which won its conference title, but were both ranked in the top-10. Those types of matchups would be commonplace in this game.
* Better SEC team for Cotton. One benefit to the Cotton Bowl should it get the game is that it'd have a better chance to get a higher-ranked SEC team. Right now, the Cotton picks after the Capital One Bowl and then has first right on the next SEC West team. If the Cotton Bowl wants an SEC East team, they have to wait for the Outback Bowl to pick. That's why only two times has an SEC East team played in the Cotton Bowl since 1999 -- Tennessee twice.
* Money. A big sponsor like AT&T certainly won't hurt as the Cotton Bowl makes this bid. The Sugar Bowl has plenty of money, too, but don't think the Cotton Bowl won't come in ready to spend to get this game.
It should be really interesting to see how this all shakes out. There's still time to get that figured out. Remember, this game isn't played until 2015.