Big 12 notes: League sets bowl lineup for future seasons

Posted Friday, May. 31, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Big 12 officials confirmed their bowl lineup for the 2014-19 seasons Friday, although final agreements have yet to be signed.

Under the new arrangement, the champion will go to the Sugar Bowl unless it qualifies to be part of the College Football Playoff. The next-highest bowl behind the Sugar in the league pecking order will be the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. The Alamo Bowl takes over the slot vacated by the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, now part of the playoff mix, in the Big 12 selection order.

The league’s remaining postseason tie-ins will include the Russell Athletic Bowl (Orlando, Fla.), Liberty Bowl (Memphis), Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (Tempe, Ariz.), Meineke Car Care Bowl (Houston) and Heart of Dallas Bowl at the Cotton Bowl stadium. The Heart of Dallas Bowl will not include a Big 12 team every year.

“We have agreements in substance with… the places where we plan to go. And I think we met most of our objectives,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said.

Supportive president

Texas President Bill Powers said he is “absolutely confident” that the Longhorns’ programs will rebound next season in football, men’s basketball and baseball after down years during the 2012-13 school year. Texas finished 9-4 in football, 16-18 in men’s basketball and finished last in the Big 12 in baseball.

“The programs are good,” Powers said. “There will always be ups and downs, wins and losses. I’m looking forward to next season.”

Powers also said he was “very gratified” by last week’s support from members of the Texas Legislature during hearings with system regents.

Final Four update

Big 12 officials will meet with NCAA representatives Wednesday and Thursday to discuss logistical plans for the 2014 Final Four at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington. The session is expected to include site inspections in regard to the Big Dance concert series, but a league spokesman said no decision or announcement about the site is anticipated during the session. The NCAA will make the final call on where to locate the free concert series, which is expected to draw more than 30,000 fans for three consecutive nights during Final Four weekend.

WV travel challenges

With Big 12 administrators committed to remaining a 10-team league, schedule makers will look at tweaks to future schedules to better accommodate travel challenges for West Virginia.

Because the Mountaineers joined the league in July 2012 — two months before playing their first Big 12 football game — last year’s football schedule “probably wasn’t looked at seriously enough” in terms of accommodating their unique travel situation, Texas men’s athletic director DeLoss Dodds said.

For instance, West Virginia played games in Austin and Lubbock in consecutive weeks. The Mountaineers defeated Texas 48-45 but lost the next week to Texas Tech 49-14. Ideally, those football trips to Texas in back-to-back weekends will be a thing of the past, league officials said.

In addition, West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck said his school has requested to play as many Saturday-Monday turnarounds as possible as part of its road schedule in basketball. The Mountaineers also requested to open the conference season in basketball with as many road trips as possible before the start of the spring semester.

“We asked for a couple of things,” Luck said. “The conference looked at those and will do what they can.”

Jimmy Burch, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @Jimmy_Burch

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