How Much Does Houston's High Bid on Champions Bowl Shake Things Up?

Barrett SalleeSEC Football Lead WriterSeptember 7, 2012

HOUSTON - SEPTEMBER 10:  A general exterior view of Reliant Stadium taken before the game between the Philadelphia Eagles and the Houston Texans on September 10, 2006 at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

SEC and Big 12 officials recently completed the bidding process for cities to issue their proposals to host the newly created Champions Bowl starting in 2014.

The bowl, which is owned by the two conferences, will be played on New Year's night and will feature the champions of the SEC and Big 12. If either or both conferences provide teams to the national semifinal, other worthy teams from the conference(s) will be included.

If the city of Houston has its say, that game will be played in Reliant Stadium.

According to Mark Blaudschun, Houston's bid for the Champions Bowl was the most lucrative of all the bids, ahead of Dallas/Arlington, New Orleans and Atlanta.

So does money talk?

Typically it does, so it'd be naive to just outright dismiss Houston as a serious contender.

But consider this more of a Hail Mary from Houston than a game-changing bid.

Houston has a nice foundation as the nation's fourth-biggest city and the No. 10 media market in the country, according to Nielsen. But it doesn't have the history and track record of hosting major Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) bowls, as the cities of Dallas/Arlington, New Orleans and Atlanta do.

Nothing against the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, which is played at Reliant Stadium in Houston, but the Cotton Bowl, Sugar Bowl and Chick-fil-A Bowl have a little bit more name recognition.

While Houston may have thrown the most money at the SEC and the Big 12, the "smart money" still is flowing toward Dallas/Arlington and New Orleans as the favorites to land the bowl, with Atlanta following suit. 

Expect all three of those locations to figure prominently into the six-game semifinal rotation, as well.