College Football Playoff Thoughts
So, I'm trying to figure this out how this will work. There are going to be 6 access bowls (Sugar, Rose & Orange plus 3 TBD, likely Cotton, Chick-Fil-A and Fiesta) and two of those bowls will host the national semifinal on a rotational basis. The Sugar, when it isn't hosting the semifinal is locked in as the best available Big 12 versus SEC teams. The Rose, when it isn't hosting the semifinal is locked in as the best available Pac 12/B1G team. The Orange, when it isn't hosting the semifinal will be the best ACC team versus ND, a B1G, or an SEC team. However, the B1G and SEC will not send its best available team to the Orange when the Rose/Sugar are hosting the national semifinals. Given that, here is my wish list:
Given geography and football fan followings, the Big 12 provides the best opportunity to fill Jerry World and the one of the best opportunities to fill University of Phoenix stadium. Plus, both the Cotton and Fiesta Bowls are currently affiliated with the Big 12, which should give the Big 12 the inside track on negotiations with those bowls. That is why the selection of the Sugar Bowl as the "Champions Bowl" is brilliant for the Big 12 because it gives the conference a better opportunity to reach secondary agreements with the Cotton and Fiesta, which should be an easier negotiation than the Sugar would have been.
I am hoping that the Big 12 will reach an agreement with the Cotton Bowl that in those years that the Sugar is hosting the semifinal, that the Cotton will host the best available of the Big 12 (hopefully versus the SEC's best available) and will host the second best Big 12 team in years in which the Sugar is not hosting a national semi final. I am further hoping that the Big 12 reaches an agreement with the Fiesta that it will take the Big 12's second best available team in years in which the Sugar is hosting the national semifinal. Or, the Fiesta and Cotton could be reversed in this scenario. Either way, the arrangement would guarantee 2 Big 12 teams in the access bowl line up every year and 3 teams would reach that level in most years when a Big 12 team qualifies for the semifinal. In an extremely rare year, the Big 12 could get 4 in that way if 2 teams qualify for the national semi final. It would actually give a team like Iowa State a chance to play in one of these things eventually merely by finishing 3rd out of a 10 team conference. Plus, with only 10 teams to split the pie, the Big 12 bowl pay out would likely be the largest of any conference on a per team basis.
I know Bowlsby and the Pac 12 have been negotiating with the Fiesta to arrange a Pac 12/Big 12 versus a best of the rest match up. I can't imagine that the Big 12 wouldn't have the inside track on a Cotton contract as well. Exciting times for the conference. Let's hope Bob can get it done!