The race for the rights to host the SEC vs. Big 12 Champions Bowl is down to a two-horse race.
ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported Tuesday afternoon that New Orleans and Arlington, Texas have emerged as the front-runners to win the bid to host the bowl.
The game, which will be owned by the two conferences, will feature the champion of each, or the top team(s) from each conference not invited to the four-playoff starting in 2014.
According to the report, Atlanta may be the only other city to submit a bid for the bowl game, but is a long shot due to the fact that it hosts the SEC Championship Game in early December every year.
Those two cities make the most sense.
They are centrally-located for both conferences, have long track records of putting on successful bowl games and are played in cities that are desirable destinations for the new year.
Arlington's success with the Cotton Bowl is well-documented, and the fact that it moved into the shiny new Cowboys Stadium will only help matters.
New Orleans is the longtime home of the Sugar Bowl, which has been a BCS bowl since the inception of the BCS in 1998.
The losers for the game are going to be well-positioned to be considered for spots as "access bowls" in the new six-bowl semifinal rotation.
The Champions Bowl will be one of the three "contract bowls," along with the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl. But with the other three bowls still up for debate, it's almost certain that the losing cities in this process will still go after the three remaining spots.
Arlington has "Jerry World," New Orleans has Bourbon Street and Atlanta will have the College Football Hall of Fame (and possibly a new retractable roof stadium).
All three cities that are expected to submit proposals for the bowls are announcing their intent to remain relevant in the landscape of big-time college football.