The Pac-12 has spent only a year at the New Mexico Bowl and seems to have figured that this is too much time to spend at any point in the year in New Mexico. Jeremy Fowler of CBS Sports reports.
The Pac-12 is not expected to renew its contract with the New Mexico Bowl when it runs out after this season, according to two sources. Conference USA will likely replace the Pac-12 and play the Mountain West Conference for the 2014-19 cycle, according to a source.
This will mean the Pac-12 will face the MWC only once during the bowl season. It seems the conference is looking to maximize its chances to face big BCS school opponents, and then minimize the mid-major foes as much as possible.
So where will the Pac-12 go now? A matchup with the Big 12 apparently. With the Pac-12 no longer facing the Big 12 in a Holiday Bowl matchup (although they'll still have the premium Alamo Bowl to display the best of each conference), the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl seems set to take the New Mexico Bowl's place in the lineup. Those were the rumors from a month ago.
The bowl in Tempe, Ariz., is negotiating with the Big 12 and Pac-12 as yearly tie-ins, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation. A deal is not done but appears probable.
The bowl, which is run by the Fiesta Bowl folks and has been heavily subsidized in recent years, won't garner a large payout compared to other bowls but still has several interested parties, including the Big Ten.
Interestingly, the Big Ten might be leaving the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl for the Holiday Bowl, so that gives the Pac-12 two premium matchups with major conferences!
Will Buffalo Wild Wings move ahead of the Vegas Bowl (which features a Pac-12 vs. MWC squad)? The order remains to be seen.