Delany: B1G could have 'lot' of new bowls
The Big Ten's future bowl lineup is starting to come into focus. There will be changes beginning in the 2014 season.
"It could be a lot," Delany told a group of reporters, including yours truly, on Wednesday.
Discussions with bowl representatives will ramp up in the next 2-4 weeks as Delany hopes to have a lineup ready for the Big Ten presidents and chancellors to approve at their annual meeting June 2 at league headquarters. The bowl lineup also is sure to come up when athletic directors gather in Chicago for spring meetings May 14-15.
Delany has talked about diversifying the bowl lineup since January. In addition to new locations and new opponents, Delany wants to see greater flexibility in the bowl selection process to limit repeat participants and create more appealing games for fans and TV. The conference should take a more active role in this process, working alongside the bowls.
It's also possible that the Big Ten shares a tie-in with another conference, although most of the talks remain centered on the different bowls.
"It's really hard for three conferences, four conferences, to get together on the same page and deliver," Delany said. "Because ultimately the bowls are driven by the market. The Southeastern Conference is very popular. So I’m not going to go there and tell them what they should do with the SEC. We're pretty popular. Some conferences are less popular.
"It's really hard to do kind of a parlay."
Two potential lineup additions are the Pinstripe Bowl in New York, a game the Big Ten has targeted for a while, and the Holiday Bowl in San Diego, where the two sides have mutual interest. Delany wants to keep a presence in Florida with games against the SEC, but it's unlikely the Big Ten will continue to play in three games -- Capital One, Outback and Gator -- every season. Remember also that Big Ten teams will appear in the Orange Bowl more often in the coming seasons.
The Big Ten hosted representatives from 10-12 bowl games in November at league headquarters. The candidate pool has shrunk, and the league is closing in on a new-look lineup, most likely for the 2014-17 seasons.