Big Ten wants to diversify its bowl affiliations

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The Big Ten’s bowl record over the last decade has not been good. Big Ten commissioner has been talking recently about diversifying its bowl affiliations.

“We’re going to try and be national and try to have relationships on both coasts and maybe in areas we haven’t been before,” Delany told ESPN.com. “There will be more diversity in teams that get to go, so no one goes to Florida five times in six years or even three years in a row. I hope we would put together a slate of games where our alums live, where we recruit and against opponents that will test us every year. Those are the elements.

These statements are a bit puzzling.

With the marquee Big Ten bowl affiliations in Florida and in the Rose Bowl, the Big Ten is on both coasts. The new Orange Bowl agreement will also give the Big Ten a matchup against an ACC team every few years.

There have been mentions of the Pinstripe Bowl in Yankee Stadium which may make sense with the addition of Rutgers, but there’s a reason the bigger bowls are in the southern part of the country. I’m not sure how many fans will travel to New York for 20 degree outdoor football game.

Much of this is irrelevant anyways moving forward. Starting in 2014, the focus will be around the playoff and the access bowls. The Big Ten has succeeded in achieving a conference tie-in to both the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl (like the SEC has with Sugar and Orange moving forward). That’s really all that matters. The bowls outside the access bowls are going to become increasingly irrelevant as fans pay more attention to the playoff.

Photo Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

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