SEC finalizing 7 bowls, sources say
The SEC is finalizing deals with its seven top non-College Football Playoff bowls that would run six years starting in 2014, sources said Tuesday.
After SEC teams are selected for the College Football Playoff semifinals, the next highest ranked SEC team advances to the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Also in years the Discover Orange Bowl does not host the national semifinals, a team from the SEC, Big Ten or Notre Dame will play in the Orange Bowl against the ACC.
After all those bowls are filled, the Capital One Bowl will get the SEC's next selection, sources said.
After the Capital One Bowl (Orlando, Fla.), six bowls will be pooled together and share the next six selections. Sources said the bowls that will share the SEC's second through seventh selections are: AutoZone Liberty (Memphis), Belk (Charlotte, N.C.), Franklin American Mortgage Music City (Nashville, Tenn.), Outback (Tampa, Fla.), Taxslayer.com Gator (Jacksonville, Fla.) and Texas (Houston).
In the Capital One Bowl, an SEC team will face a Big Ten team unless a Big Ten team is chosen for the Orange Bowl. When that occurs, the ACC would replace a Big Ten team to face the SEC.
The SEC's opponents in each of the next six shared bowls are: Belk (ACC), Gator (ACC/Big Ten), Music City (ACC/Big Ten), Liberty (Big 12), Outback (Big Ten) and Texas (Big 12).
Most of the SEC's top bowl affiliations were expected. However, the SEC's tie-in to the Liberty is a huge blow to the American Athletic Conference. The American, formerly known as the Big East, had hoped to send its conference champion to the Liberty, home of new league member Memphis, sources said.
The new bowl affiliations guarantee the SEC will exclusively play other "power five" conferences in at least its top eight or nine bowls.
The SEC also is considering adding more bowl tie-ins for the new bowl cycle from 2014 to 2019, sources said.