Champs Sports Bowl Speaks Loudly Of Big East's Problems

Paul SieversAnalyst IAugust 22, 2009

CINCINNATI, OH - NOVEMBER 29: Head coach Brian Kelly of the Cincinnati Bearcats gets doused with Gatorade at the end of the game against the Syracuse Orange at Nippert Stadium on November 29, 2008 in Cincinnati, Ohio. The Bearcats defeated the Orange 30-10 to claim the Big East title and a spot in the Orange Bowl. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Starting in 2010, the Big East will end their arrangement with the Gator and Sun bowls and begin sending their second best team to the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando. This change comes with a lot of mixed feelings for Big East fans.


  • Orlando is a far more desirable destination than Jacksonville or El Paso. It's easier to get to than either city and very family-friendly. For 20-somethings like myself who are looking to party, Tampa is a short enough drive.
  • The game will pay about as much as the Gator Bowl and more than the Sun Bowl. The Big East is not losing any money in bowl payouts from this deal.
  • While the game isn't a New Years Day game, it comes with an exclusive time slot and a National broadcast. The entire nation will be watching. The Champs Sports Bowl received a higher rating than the Gator Bowl last year.
  • Notre Dame can only take a Big East team's spot once every four years.


  • It's the Champs Sports Bowl, it doesn't exactly roll off the tongue like Gator or Sun. It doesn't have the history of those two bowls, either. This is a PR hit to a league that doesn't need any more shots taken at its pride.
  • Notre Dame is unfortunately still involved.

All in all, I think the Big East powers that be did a decent enough job at securing the Champs Sports Bowl. Let's be honest Big East fans, we're a tough sell right now. We don't have a team in the preseason top 25, and aside from WVU, none of our schools travel all that well.

The most important thing the Big East can do with their bowl contracts is make sure we're playing as many other BCS teams as possible. Right now, we are awaiting an opponent in the Champs Sports Bowl, an opponent rumored to be an ACC team.

Assuming our opponent in Orlando is an ACC team, our 2010 Bowl Tie-Ins would look like this.

Big East #1 - BCS

Great, let's hold on to this one for dear life.

Big East #2 - Champs Sports vs. ACC

I'd rather play the Big 10 or SEC, but it's a BCS opponent.

Big East #3 - Meineke Car Care Bowl vs. ACC

It seems redundant to play all these games against the ACC, especially when you consider their problems are similar to ours. But it could be worse...

Big East #4 - International Bowl vs. MAC

I'm sure Toronto is a great city, but this game is just an awful idea. Two conferences that don't have rabid fanbases going to a cold weather city. Throw in the lower drinking age and the increased chances for both fan and player hooliganism, and I give this game about another three years of existence.

Big East #5 - Bowl vs. SEC

Don't get too excited, it's the ninth team from the SEC. Assuming there is no ninth team eligible, we play a Sun Belt opponent.

Big East #6 - St. Petersburg Bowl vs. C-USA

Great, another mid-major opponent. With this setup, it is extremely possible that half of our bowl games will be played against non-BCS opponents. There's no winning when you play against inferior opposition, especially when the league is trying to prove its legitimacy.


If we want to claim our conference is a legitimate power, then we have to prove it. The Big East needs to find us big time opposition for our bowl games, then the fans have to travel and our teams have to win.

Once all three of these things are happening, everything else will fall into place.


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