More Pac-12 bowl shuffling is in order. The Holiday Bowl will probably announce later today that the Pac-12 will be facing a Big Ten team rather than a Big 12 squad. And just moments ago (as expected), the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl announced a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten pairing.
The matchup will start in 2014 when the Fight Hunger Bowl moves to the new stadium of the 49ers in Santa Clara, and will situate the Pac-12 No. 4 squad against a Big Ten team (the Big Ten team will be a bit further down the rung, although positioning has yet to be determined on that side).
It's a big move up for the Fight Hunger Bowl, which will leap frog the Vegas and the Sun Bowl. Much of that has to do with the new site, which provides an NFL venue for the Pac-12 in a favorable market for the conference. Managing to attract a solid Big Ten squad will also be a big draw, and it should start becoming a very attractive mid-tier game in the near future.
The Sun Bowl will move down another rung. This does make some sense despite the ancient nature of the rivalry. Regardless of how traditional a matchup it tends to be, it's still a bowl game in El Paso.
Two of college football's premier conferences, the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, will face each other in the Bay Area's post-season bowl game beginning in 2014.
The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl today announced six-year agreements that will establish a new partnership with the Big Ten and significantly improve the Bowl's selection rights in the Pac-12. Both pacts will run from 2014 through 2019.
Effective with the new match-up, the Bowl will be played in the new 68,500 seat Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, future home of the NFL San Francisco 49ers and site of the Super Bowl in 2016.
"Our objective entering negotiations for the next bowl cycle was to elevate the game," said Bowl Executive Director Gary Cavalli. "Specifically, we wanted to move up in the Pac-12 and secure the highest quality opponent possible. We're thrilled that we've been able to achieve both goals. With a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup and a new world-class stadium, we've positioned our game very well for the future."
Under terms of its renewal with the Pac-12, the Bowl will have the No. 4 pick, within parameters established by the conference, [after the Rose/Playoff Group, Alamo and Holiday Bowls], a jump of two positions from its current No. 6. The Bowl will work with the Big Ten to create the best possible matchup for the Pac-12 and ensure that at least five different Big Ten teams visit the Bay Area during the six-year term.