It’s probably weird to us, on this side of the
fence Mississippi River Eastern Time Zone, to see the Big 12 wringing hands over travel. And in truth, a lot of this doesn’t make much sense, but it’s nevertheless interesting given what’s at stake.
You see, with one exception you know of, the Big 12 teams are all very, or at worst fairly, close to one another. There are bowl games in Texas to accommodate some teams and fans while the Fiesta Bowl seems to draw well, obviously because of the BCS attraction, so long as a team doesn’t go in consecutive seasons or twice in three years, or something where it becomes a repetitive drag.
Yet when the cards are shuffled and the new bowl games are dealt, the Big 12 would like to be closer to its base, a request triggered, oddly enough, by the ninth-place team qualifying for a bowl that doesn’t normally belong to the Big 12.
Iowa State’s uncomfortable assignment with the Liberty Bowl in Memphis seemed to open eyes that the Big 12 needed to be more fan friendly, and perhaps the league having nine bowl eligible teams helps apply some leverage.
So now the Big 12 wants to remain a postseason presence in Texas and out West and add something in Florida and/or Tennessee.
Both seem doable and would mean getting the heck out of the Pinstripe Bowlm which you could have forecast with the snowfall upon WVU’s appearance.
Florida is a previously stated goal for this bowl cycle. WVU helps with the presence there and if you look at rosters — Iowa State’s for example — you’ll find a sometimes surprising number of Florida players in the Big 12. You probably can’t ever have too many of them, especially when you’re competing against teams that have Texas pipelines. One possibility I’ve heard is the Champs Sports Bowl in what had been the Big East’s spot. Never mind it’s not close to many teams. We’ve abandoned logic already.
Tennessee also seems possible and reasonable, and though this is just me hearing things I hear, it seems the Pinstripe could swap the Big 12 for the Conference USA/American affiliation that would be bumped out of the … wait for it … Liberty Bowl.