- Adam Rittenberg, ESPN Staff Writer
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Most of you knew this was coming, but it's now official: The Big Ten will share a tie-in with both the Gator and Music City bowls for games taking place following the 2014-19 seasons.
The Big Ten will share its tie-in to both games with the ACC, as both conferences want additional flexibility in creating bowl matchups. The Big Ten currently has an agreement with the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla., while the ACC has an agreement with the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
Here's how it will work: The Big Ten will have three teams in the Gator and three teams in the Music City Bowl during the six-year agreement. The ACC has the exact same agreement with both bowls.
The Big Ten/ACC opponent for both games has yet to be announced, but the SEC is expected to occupy spots in both games on an annual basis.
The Big Ten returns to the Music City Bowl, where it had a tie-in from 2002-05. Minnesota made three appearances in the game during the four-year span. Don't expect to see a similar situation this time around as these agreements are all about flexibility and variety.
Like the Big Ten's other future bowl agreements, the Gator and Music City bowls won't have a selection number like in past years. Instead, they'll be part of the Big Ten's tiered system, most likely as middle-tier bowls with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in the San Francisco area and the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in New York.
The Big Ten's post-2014 bowl lineup is taking shape, although several official announcements still must be made.
Here's the projected lineup from what we've heard:
Orange (Big Ten team will appear at least three times between 2014-26)
Kraft Fight Hunger
Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces (Big Ten likely will share tie-in)
New Detroit Bowl (affiliated with Detroit Lions)
Some Big Ten fans don't like all the California bowls because of their distance from the league's footprint. Do you feel better about having Nashville, a relatively short trip, on the docket?