Let the bidding begin.
Request for proposals have officially been sent to 10 cities nationwide to be the inaugural location for the so-called Champions Bowl, per college football reporter Brett McMurphy. The current front runner? Dallas, Texas.
As the Cotton Bowl has been aggressively bidding for games, the Champions Bowl would be the best solution. It would come with an annual $80 million from ESPN through 2026 and would most likely allow the Cotton Bowl to keep its title.
“We anticipate being one of the finalists for the championship, and we really feel confident that we’ll get in the mix,” said Tommy Bain, chairman of the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, to Kirk Bohls of the statesman.com. “We’ll be very aggressive. We not only want to host the championship game, we want to host the first one.”
This deal would be a big one for Dallas, which is already very familiar with hosting the Big 12 Championship. Dallas would have the opportunity to earn a lot of money from the event. For the pure sake of owning another major game, the Big 12 should hope Dallas bids and is selected. Keeping the money in Big 12 territory wouldn't hurt one bit.
Plus, a Dallas game between a SEC and Big 12 school would almost guarantee a home field advantage for the Big 12. While the SEC is not too far away, it would allow the Big 12 to play on its own turf. In some instances, a team from the Big 12 could play at Cowboy Stadium twice in one season. That also would be a big advantage.
Keeping the Champions Bowl out of Atlanta would be wise for Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby. If the power is there to influence the event staying on home turf, why send it elsewhere? Keep the money and the fans close.
Ultimately, the decision comes down to money but the Cotton Bowl should be able to swing it. In hopes of not being left on the outside of the four-team playoff, it's crucial the Cotton Bowl stays competitive. If they do, it will be a huge advantage to the Big 12 every year it faces the SEC on New Year's Day.