Nebraska Football: How The New B1G Bowl Lineup Will Affect the Cornhuskers

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Nebraska Football: How The New B1G Bowl Lineup Will Affect the Cornhuskers
Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Nebraska winters are cold, snowy, and generally good things to get away from for a week in December or January. That’s one of the reasons Nebraska fans flock to NU’s bowl destinations year after year.

So when B1G commissioner Jim Delany changed the landscape of how the conference would allocate its bowls, Nebraska fans sat up and listened.

First, Delany announced that the conference will now have tie-ins with the Holiday Bowl in San Diego and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, due to begin play in the San Francisco 49ers’ new stadium in nearby Santa Clara next year.

The conference will be dropping its affiliations with the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Tempe, AZ, the Texas Bowl in Houston, and the Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit (although the B1G will be participating in the yet-to-be-named bowl to be hosted in Detroit’s Ford Field. I’m rooting for the Urban Decay Bowl, but I suspect that’s not a leading contender).

More importantly, though, Delany announced that the B1G would be breaking its bowls into tiers, in an attempt to create “freshness” in the bowl matchups (h/t ESPN.com). The B1G bowls would be broken into three tiers: upper, middle, and lower. The bowls in each of those tiers would get to select their B1G participants, subject to the conference’s approval.

Which means, ultimately, that the B1G will have a big say in terms of which teams go where. Delany wants to use this authority to ensure that teams aren’t continually going to the same bowl.

Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

“It's counterproductive to send the same teams to the same bowls in consecutive [years] or four out of five years,” Delany said in a conference call as reported by ESPN.com. “Someone will obviously select first, but they may or may not get the team they want because that team may have been in that region two years in a row. We're trying to make sure there’s freshness. It's hard when a team goes to say Florida five times in six years to get them really excited.

So here’s a list of all the B1G bowl tie-ins as they sit now (with big thanks to Black Shoe Diaries, from whom I liberally pilfered this table). Of course, in a year when (if?) any B1G teams or their opponents make the College Football Playoff, they would be removed from the bowls and the next-lower team would bump up a notch. The new B1G bowls are listed in italics.

Bowl

Location

B1G Team

Opponent

Rose

Pasadena, CA

B1G Champion

Pac-12 Champion

Orange

Miami, FL

Undetermined

Undetermined

Capital One

Orlando, FL

B1G no. 2-4 (upper tier)

SEC no. 2-4

Outback

Tampa, FL

B1G no. 2-4 (upper tier)

Undetermined

Holiday

San Diego, CA

B1G no. 2-4 (upper tier)

Pac-12 no. 2-3

Gator*

Jacksonville, FL

B1G no. 5-7 (middle tier)

SEC no. 4-7

Music City*

Nashville, TN

B1G no. 5-7 (middle tier)

SEC no. 4-7

Kraft Fight Hunger

Santa Clara, CA

B1G no. 5-7 (middle tier)

Pac-12 no. 4

Pinstripe

New York, NY

B1G no. 5-7 (middle tier)

ACC no. 3-4

Heart of Dallas**

Dallas, TX

B1G no. 8-9 (lower tier)

Big 12

Armed Forces**

Fort Worth, TX

B1G no. 8-9 (lower tier)

Undetermined

Urban Decay***

Detroit, MI

B1G no. 8-9 (lower tier)

Undetermined

* The B1G will alternate years between the Gator Bowl and the Music City Bowl.

** The B1G will alternate years between the Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl.

*** The bowl at Ford Field will almost certainly not be officially named the Urban Decay Bowl. Just to be clear.

Ultimately, the new B1G bowl scheme is going to be good for Nebraska in a number of ways.

 

San Diego

The Holiday Bowl means that Nebraska could be going back to San Diego. This is good because, duh, San Diego.

 

Avoiding repeat bowl visits

Nebraska has gone back-to-back in back-to-back bowl appearances, which is a lot of backs to worry about. Nebraska went to the Holiday Bowl in 2009 and 2010, and the Capital One Bowl in 2011 and 2012. The 2010 Holiday Bowl and 2012 Capital One Bowl were duds for Nebraska fans, in large part because they were repeat performances. The new B1G bowl scheme should remove that as a possibility, meaning Nebraska fans should get a different bowl venue every year from the previous one.

 

Boosting recruiting efforts

So, what do you think of the B1G's new bowl scheme?

Submit Vote vote to see results

Scoff if you want. But having the B1G logo prominently displayed throughout the baseball season in venerable Yankee Stadium thanks to the Pinstripe Bowl affiliation is amazing marketing.

And, according to 247Sports.com, five of the top 16 recruits for the 2014 class are from the area now within the “B1G footprint.” So having those East Coast kids see the conference logo at Yankee Stadium, and knowing that the East Coast is now at least somewhat B1G territory, should help Nebraska establish relationships with East Coast prospects in a way it couldn’t before.

The same holds true for California recruits. With the addition of the Holiday Bowl and the much-improved Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, Nebraska will have a better link to the Golden State and should be able to use that link to help form relationships with prospects throughout one of the most talent-rich states in the country.

Whatever else you may thing of Delany, there is one thing that cannot be denied—the man gets things done. He’s upgraded the B1G bowl lineup both for fans and for recruiting, and he’s put an innovative system in place to help ensure that Nebraska fans (along with the rest of the conference) will have fun and fresh trips to anticipate every winter.

If you’d like to contact Patrick, send an email to patrickrunge@gmail.com.

Or, you could always...Follow @patrickrunge.

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