Circle Jan. 1, 2015, on your future calendar.That’s the date when college football’s marquee bowl games will, once again, dominate the New Year’s Day (and night) airwaves … just like they used to. Crown jewels of that day-long football extravaganza will be back-to-back games in the Rose (Pac-12 vs. Big Ten) and Sugar (Big 12 vs. SEC) Bowls. Conference officials confirmed this week that the Big 12 and SEC chose New Orleans as the host city for their new bowl partnership, which we be staged annually in primetime on Jan. 1st. Beyond the historic nature of the Rose (originating in 1902) and Sugar (1935) Bowls, these games will pit schools from the power broker conferences of the sport. Since the beginning of the Bowl Championship Series in 1998, the Big 12, Big Ten, SEC and Pac-12 have played in nearly 70% of the BCS games. Forming a partnership with the SEC was a shrewd move by the Big 12. It guarantees relevance and its nighttime kickoff will be a fantastic conclusion to a full day of football on New Year’s Day. Additionally, the Big 12 office said the partnership with the SEC has the potential to extend beyond matching league football champs in the Sugar Bowl. More discussions on what that might be will take place in the future. The Sugar Bowl has been a landing spot for SEC teams throughout most of its history. But, six schools from the Big 12 (Oklahoma – 6, Texas – 3, West Virginia – 3, TCU – 2, Baylor and Oklahoma State – 1 each) have also played in the Crescent City’s bowl game. “From the moment this game was announced, there has been tremendous excitement associated with the collaboration between these two conferences,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said. College football fans are the biggest winners with the return of Jan. 1st as a bowl bonanza. Big 12 fans win because their league has cemented a premiere position in that day’s bowl constellation and it’s against the best competition.
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