Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big East gets a new bowl

The Big East Conference has reached a four-year agreement with the Champs Sports Bowl to send a team to the Orlando, Fla., game beginning in the 2010 season.

The Champs Sports Bowl will have the first selection from the Big East after the league’s BCS representative has been determined. The Big East's opponent for the game for 2010-13 is to be determined. The payout to the Big East could reach $2.4 million.

Big East officials said all options are being explored for an opponent. Notre Dame is part of the package, eligible to go once every four years as long as it finishes 7-5 or better and are within two wins of an eligible Big East team. So, a 7-5 ND team can be taken over a 9-3 Big East team.

The Big East also hopes to make another bowl announcement shortly, commissioner John Marinatto said. Marinatto also said the Sun Bowl remains "very much" in the picture with the Big East.

”We are thrilled to be a partner with the Champs Sports Bowl, said Marinatto. “I know our schools are very excited about the agreement. Orlando is an outstanding destination for our teams and fans. It’s going to be a great experience for everyone. The Champs Sports Bowl is an outstanding addition to the BIG EAST bowl lineup.”

“We are very excited about gaining another top pick through the BIG EAST and Notre Dame,” said Steve Hogan, CEO of Florida Citrus Sports. “If we are successful in signing our other planned selections, it will be tough to argue that Orlando doesn’t deliver the best week of the college football postseason.”

The Champs Sports Bowl will have the opportunity to select Notre Dame once during the four-year agreement.

The dates for the Champs Sports Bowl will remain Dec. 27, 28 or 29. The game will have an exclusive window on ESPN.

Since 1994, the BIG EAST has had a relationship with the Gator Bowl that has included the conference’s top selection after the BCS representative has been determined. “We have been fortunate to have had a long and fruitful partnership with the Gator Bowl for 16 years,” said Marinatto. “We enjoyed the relationship, but our athletic directors and head football coaches were unanimous in the decision to forge a deal with the Champs Sports Bowl.”


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