Could Liberty Bowl be an option for Big East?

April, 1, 2010
4/01/10
2:00
PM ET
Interesting story by the Birmingham News' Jon Solomon about the new arrangement between the SEC and the Papajohns.com and Liberty bowls.

Basically, the two bowls will share picks between the final two SEC teams and will rotate who gets the last SEC team when there are not enough eligible teams.

This affects the Big East in a couple of ways. First, the primary attraction of the Papajohns.com Bowl for the league is its matchup against the SEC. Without that, you're basically talking about a game in a decrepit stadium against an undesirable opponent, possibly a Sun Belt team. Clearly, the Big East doesn't want this to happen, but with the frequency that the SEC has been getting two teams to the BCS, it's a real possibility.

Secondly, the story says the Liberty Bowl has been working to get the Big East as a backup plan should it get shut out of an SEC team. This is important because the Big East has only six bowl slots, including the BCS automatic bid. It's not hard to imagine a scenario in which seven of the eight Big East teams reach bowl eligibility.

Let's say Syracuse wins four nonconference games but goes just 2-5 in the league to finish 6-6 and seventh in the league. (Hey, it almost happened last year, as Syracuse lost in overtime to Minnesota and by one point at Louisville). The Orange would need a place to go, and at 6-6 would need some help to get there. Having the Liberty as a potential fallback plan could be helpful.

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