With the BCS format set to become a thing of the past after the 2014 season, and with tweaks being made to the playoff system, new bowls and locations are being discussed.
Brett McMurphy of ESPN reports:
As many as nine locations are under consideration to begin bowl games in 2014, according to sources: Miami, Orlando, Little Rock, Ark.; Boca Raton, Fla.; Montgomery, Ala.; Los Angeles; Ireland; Dubai and either Toronto or Nassau, Bahamas.
The Bahamas? Dubai? Ireland? Miami? Forget participating in the playoffs and playing in the same boring locations, sign me up for a trip to paradise. A week in the Bahamas sure beats playing in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium, where last year's game was covered in snow. That's not exactly a reward for regular-season accomplishments.
Per the report, these new bowl possibilities would be for teams in leagues outside the power conferences. Those are the American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt. Watch out Boise State, you may finally be rewarded for being everybody's favorite underdog.
A source told McMurphy that these ongoing discussions are taking place because of the way the system is being built to keep the little guy out of the big game. Per the source:
The smaller 'Group of Five' conferences are exploring adding bowl games because they are being locked out by the big boys. They're looking to create bowl games so their teams will have bowls for their bowl-eligible teams.
This year's bowl lineup consists of 35 games, with 16 of those spots being occupied by power conferences (Big Ten, SEC, Pac-12, Big 12, ACC), giving non-BCS programs little chance to appear on the big stage. Per the report, that number could top 19 next season when the playoff format is installed.
While adding more bowls makes sense if you are a fan of non-BCS schools, the problem lies in how many teams would actually be bowl eligible (minimum of six victories). The last two seasons have only produced 72 bowl-eligible teams for 70 spots, which is cutting things dangerously close. Adding more bowls could force requirements to be tweaked, which then opens up another can of worms.
Either way, this would be a nice consolation prize if some of these locations stick.