A&M not separate from Big 12 after all
Published: Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 23:07
Just when you thought Texas A&M bid farewell to the Big 12, well not so fast.
The Big 12 and SEC have come to a five-year agreement that will pit the regular season champions of each league against each other in a new bowl game. The game will be played on New Year’s Day beginning in 2014 in anticipation of the new four-team playoff format.
SEC teams have won the past six BCS national championships, while both the Big 12 and SEC have had a top-four team in 11 of the past 14 years. Both conferences have combined for 11 of the 14 championships under the current BCS system.
Only twice have the top teams from each league faced each other. In 2009, the Florida Gators defeated the Oklahoma Sooners 24-14 in Miami, and Alabama defeated Texas 37-21 the following season. Each of the matchups were for the BCS National Championship.
Under the agreement, if the regular season champions from either or both leagues get selected for the new four-team playoff, the next available teams will take their place in the bowl game.
The motivation behind this move is to provide the nation an opportunity to see an annual matchup between the two strongest football conferences in the country. The real motivation though, is the extra publicity the two conferences will garner, not to mention the extra sponsorships each will receive. Extensive details for the game, including the location, will be announced later.
This bowl game has a similar format to the Rose Bowl which matches the league winners from the Big 10 and the Pac-12 conferences. The Rose Bowl is the oldest bowl game, having been played since 1902.
This bowl game provides oxygen for a Big 12 Conference that was on life support with departures from Nebraska and Colorado, moving to the Big 10 and Pac-12, respectively, and the announcement of both Missouri and Texas A&M moving to the SEC.
With a new bowl game of this magnitude and the additions of Texas Christian University and West Virginia, this may just be what the doctor ordered to keep the Big 12 Conference alive.
This bowl game is big for Texas A&M because — if history is any indication — the top teams from each conference will be going to the playoffs, leaving the door wide open for other teams to step into this game. For the Aggies it means they could face old rivals such as Texas Tech, Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and of course: Texas.
The top two teams of the conference will not play in this bowl game if selected to the playoffs. This bowl game should be an exclusive playoff between the Big 12 and the SEC. The Rose Bowl already matches up the winners of the Pac-12 and the Big 10. All that is needed is the Big East against the ACC, and the last bowl game pitting the top two non-automatic qualifying teams to set up the top four teams for the playoffs.
This bowl game is a step in the right direction for a flawed and highly controversial BCS system. A showcase of the two top teams in the country is the way to go in order to finally obtain what this country has been asking for — a true playoff system.