The Meineke Car Car Bowl is dead. Long live the Charlotte-Name-Placeholder-Until-A-New-Sponsor-Willing-To-Pay-More-Is-Found Bowl.
Bowl officials wanted a more lucrative deal after moving up in the Atlantic Coast Conference selection order, which will mean increasing its payout per team from about $1.3 million to more than $1.8 million.
Driven Brands took over as title sponsor from Continental Tire in 2005 and has been paying about $1 million a year.
Maybe Wachovia Wells Fargo will pony up. That would be fun The Wells Fargo Bowl at Bank of America Stadium.
Remember when the Big East got sick of the split deal with the Sun Bowl and the Gator Bowl? If you can follow this, it might return with the PapaJohns.com Bowl and Liberty Bowl.
As part of their four-year agreements through 2013, the Papajohns.com and Liberty rotate who gets an SEC team when the conference doesn’t have enough eligible teams. If there are enough teams, the two bowls will attempt to work through their picks together.
This marks the first four-year contract between the SEC and the Papajohns.com Bowl after they previously worked under a two-year deal.
“We certainly sense more and more community involvement with the bowl, which in our view is essential to the success of a bowl,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “We’re very pleased that we’re able to enter into a more formal and longer agreement with the bowl and to hopefully make a contribution to the community in which the conference office is located.”
Papajohns gets the last SEC pick. The Liberty one spot ahead. Now the plan had been that if the SEC didn’t have enough teams, the SunBelt would take the spot for the SEC in Birmingham. The Big East, though, wants to make sure they play the SEC in a bowl every year — hence why a Big East team goes to Birmingham.
Meanwhile the Liberty Bowl is trying to get the Big East as a back-up conference to the SEC in the game against a Conference USA team.
Sooo. I don’t think that the Big East and SEC will meet in the Liberty Bowl, but there might be instances that bumps the Big East team either into an additional spot in the Liberty Bowl or even out of the papajohns.com bowl. It’s all very convoluted and makes my head hurt.
Now when Tony Barnhart speaks on college football issues, people actually pay attention. He’s one of the few remaining non-ESPN journalists that spent his career writing about, covering and having lots of sources in the college games. So, this is intriguing.
The other big topic here has a chance to completely change college football as we know it. I’ve spoken to a number of athletics directors and commissioners who are convinced that the Big Ten is positioning itself to seriously consider becoming college football first super conference by expanding to as many as 16 teams.
The Big Ten is looking at three plans: Stand pat with 11 teams, add one team (hopefully Notre Dame) or make a blockbuster move and go to 16.
“If they go to 16 and one of them is Notre Dame then we’ve got an entirely new ball game,” a conference commissioner told me confidentially.
There is pretty serious speculation that The Big Ten would look to the Big East in its big master plan. Now I don’t know which teams are involved, but Just for fun, let’s say the Big Ten asks Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers to join.
Realistically, those are the only 4 schools from the Big East that the Big 11 would take. The other 4 BE football schools lack the requisite academic bonafides.
Barnhart then goes into further speculation mode and kind of drifts afield in my view. But the idea of 16-team mega conferences in football has been floated by message boards and writers for some time. Andy Staples at SI.com floated one in February.
Honestly. I think the Big 11 is considering it, because going mega would legitimately be a daring way to get ahead of the potential curve and there has been so much speculation over the economic arms races of the Big 11 and SEC. A move to 16 might be enough of a force to get the Big Ten Network on lower tiers and more deals cut into the heavily populated — even if slightly apathetic to the college game — East.
Either way, I’m not planning to buy Big East labeled gear. Spencer Hall breaks it down with the Big East conference call.