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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Big East, Champs Sports Bowl agree

he Big East announced a four-year agreement Tuesday that will give the Champs Sports Bowl the choice of any conference team not headed to a Bowl Championship Series game.

But under the deal, the conference runner-up may have to step aside in favor of Notre Dame once during those four years.

The Big East's No. 2 had gone to the Gator or Sun Bowls under an arrangement that also involved Notre Dame as well as the Big 12. That agreement ends after this season.

The new deal allows the Champs Sports Bowl to pick Notre Dame over a Big East team once, if the Fighting Irish's record is at least 7-5 and within two wins of the Big East's No. 2 school, said Steve Hogan, the chief executive of Florida Citrus Sports, which runs the bowl.

That means a 9-3 Big East team could lose its spot in the bowl to a 7-5 Notre Dame squad.

Big East Commissioner John Marinatto defended the arrangement as good for both the conference and Notre Dame, which is a Big East member in other sports.

"We provide them with the opportunity to get to a bowl like the Champs Sports Bowl and they provide us with the opportunity to upgrade to a bowl like the Champs Sports Bowl," he said.

Hogan said the bowl did not require that the Big East include Notre Dame in the deal.

"You could fairly say that a Big East deal would have been done if Notre Dame wasn't part of the package, but the fact that they are makes it that much more attractive," he said

Notre Dame has been part of the Big East bowl package since 1998, when it became clear that all the bowls were making conference tie-ins, said John Heisler, Notre Dame's senior associate athletic director. The Irish have taken the Gator Bowl spot just twice since then, he said.

"As this evolved, for us it was a BCS-or-bust type situation," he said. "So this kind of became something that seemed to make sense based on our relationship with the Big East, and it's now been added to by some scheduling opportunities between us and Big East schools."

The Big East champion goes to a BCS Bowl. The runner-up this season will head to the Gator Bowl. The league also has tie-ins this season to the Meineke Bowl, International Bowl, Papajohns.com Bowl and St. Petersburg Bowl.

The league has not announced any other deals for next season, but Marinatto said talks with the Sun Bowl and others are ongoing, and he expects more announcements soon.

The Champs Sports Bowl will be played either Dec. 27, 28 or 29, 2010, and will pay each participant about $2.5 million.

Hogan said the Big East's opponent has not been determined, but the bowl remains in talks with the ACC, which had previously played a Big 10 opponent in the game.

"We remain in discussions on that side of the ball, along with several other conferences," he said. "I'm hopeful that we can close out that side of our game in the next week to 10 days."

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1 Comments:

At August 23, 2009 at 4:00 AM , Blogger Hapi said...

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