Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Big Ten to face Big 12, C-USA in Dallas bowl
By ESPN.com staff
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
The Dallas Football Classic is one of two new additions to the Big Ten's bowl lineup, which begins in the 2010 season. Unlike the other Big Ten postseason games, the league will face opponents from both the Big 12 and Conference USA on New Years Day in Cotton Bowl stadium.
Here's how the matchups will work during the four-year cycle:
Jan. 1, 2011 -- Big Ten (No. 6 team) vs. Big 12 (No. 7 team)
Jan. 1, 2012 -- Big Ten (No. 6 team) vs. Conference USA team
Jan. 1, 2013 -- Big Ten (No. 6 team) vs. Big 12 (No. 7 team)
Jan. 1, 2014 -- Big Ten (No. 6 team) vs. Conference USA team
If the bowl requires an at-large team, Conference USA will provide one in 2011 and 2013 and the Big 12 will provide one in 2012 and 2014.
The new bowl will become official after receiving its licensing from the NCAA at bowl meetings in April.
"The Big Ten has played at least one postseason game in the state of Texas in every season since 1995," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "With the number of Big Ten alumni in Texas, playing a postseason game in the city of Dallas is a natural fit and should provide an outstanding experience for our student-athletes, coaches, and fans."
I like this addition for several reasons. The Big Ten needed to maintain a postseason presence in Texas after losing the Alamo Bowl, a favorite among Big Ten fans. It does that with both the Dallas Football Classic and the Texas Bowl, played in Houston.
Perhaps more important, the Big Ten finally isn't "playing up" in a bowl game, as the Big 12 actually will have the lower-seeded team. Some might view this as a loser's mentality, but with all the factors naturally working against the Big Ten in the postseason, anything that might help the league improve its bowl record should be appreciated.