Badger Bits: Big Ten eyes new bowls

Could the Pinstripe Bowl become an option for the Big Ten? - Chris McGrath

Since everything in college football is expanding, the Big Ten has its eyes on new additions to its bowl lineup.

As we eye the great new era of Big Ten college football that starts in 2014, postseason play continues its relentless overhaul. Jim Delany held a powwow with a few reporters over lunch on Wednesday -- think he picked up the check? -- and one major topic was the Big Ten's desire to add new bowls to its lineup beginning in two seasons, when Rutgers and Maryland join the party. The next bowl cycle also runs from 2014 through the 2017 season.

Specifically, the conference could have "a lot" of new bowls.

The annual meeting of Big Ten presidents and chancellors is June 2, and it's expected that they'll vote on a new bowl lineup then. Spring meetings are also May 14 and 15, and you can bet the athletic directors will take a solid crack at making some good decisions there, as well.

What new bowls could be on the horizon? Varying the lineup is hardly a new topic, especially since the Big Ten has been so transparent regarding its intensions to expand its ever-growing reach. New locations and new opponents are fun for the fans and should foster better TV ratings, and the reduction of repeat match-ups also bodes well in that area.

The Pinstripe Bowl in New York seems a very likely candidate, especially considering the new East Coast additions of Rutgers and Maryland. Everyone (read: especially Michigan State bros) rightfully clamors about holding onto Chicago, but don't forget how many Big Ten alums make it out to Manhattan and the rest of the city.

The Holiday Bowl in San Diego remains another heavy favorite, and Big Ten schools will also begin appearing in the Orange Bowl more often.

New conference tie-ins remain remote possibilities as well, though the talk has mostly been geared toward new bowls. Cue this funny-sounding quote from Delany (via ESPN.com):

"It's really hard for three conferences, four conferences, to get together on the same page and deliver," Delany said. "Because ultimately the bowls are driven by the market. The Southeastern Conference is very popular. So I'm not going to go there and tell them what they should do with the SEC. We're pretty popular. Some conferences are less popular."

Flex those muscles, Jim! What other bowls should he snatch up for the Big Ten?

LINKS:

The latest in the Wisconsin-LSU scheduling saga? A cool "we'll see" from LSU athletic director Joe Alleva. The Tigers are too scaredy-pants to make the trip north (just kidding, kinda -- I know they don't really get a whole lot out of it) and a night in Lambeau just makes so much sense for the Badgers. But a match-up between these two big-conference powers also makes so much sense that Jason Kirk asks, "DID YOU KNOW: LSU and Wisconsin already have football stadiums." We sure did.

Dan Patrick supposedly predicted Montee Ball will be the NFL Rookie of the Year. Anyone got audio? I'm still searching, but it must be true if it triggered this sort of reaction:

ESPN The SEC Network is being unveiled today. The press conference begins at 11 a.m. CT, but here's a peek at the network's logo:

Not college football-related, but a daily reminder that Peyton Manning is so, so cool: he remembered a specific play he ran at Tennessee nearly two decades ago and requested the Broncos install it last year. Watch that video.

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