Mama_Bull Posted April 30, 2008 Group: Member Topic Count: 0 Content Count: 18,470 Reputation: 899 Days Won: 44 Joined: 10/14/2003 Share Posted April 30, 2008 SEC pursued as bowl affiliateWednesday, April 30, 2008JON SOLOMONNews staff writer The Papajohns.com Bowl is trying to add the Southeastern Conference as a bowl affiliate against the Big East next season in Birmingham, according to sources familiar with the discussions. The ESPN-owned bowl has matched Conference USA and the Big East during its two-year existence. C-USA has two years remaining on its contract with the Papajohns.com Bowl but would move to a new ESPN-owned bowl in St. Petersburg, Fla., if it is approved this week by the NCAA. The NCAA Football Licensing Committee is expected to meet with bowl organizers today at the bowl meetings in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. The recertification of the Papajohns.com Bowl could come today or Thursday. If the SEC arrangement is approved, the Papajohns.com Bowl would likely be on Monday, Dec. 29, at Legion Field. The fallback date is Saturday, Dec. 20. The game has been played on the Saturday before Christmas each of the first two years. Landing an SEC team - it would likely be the conference's bottom bowl-eligible team - could boost ticket sales and sponsorships. The bowl attracted 32,595 fans for Cincinnati-Southern Mississippi in 2007 and 28,527 for South Florida-East Carolina in 2006. A spot in the Papajohns.com Bowl would be the SEC's ninth automatic bowl tie-in - and 10th if the conference gets two spots in the Bowl Championship Series. South Carolina stayed home with a 6-6 record last year because the SEC had no more bowl slots. The NCAA's appetite for more bowl games will be a major factor in whether the SEC joins the Papajohns.com Bowl and C-USA slides to a new bowl in St. Petersburg against the Big East. Bowls in Washington, D.C., and Salt Lake City are also attempting to stage new postseason games. If those three contests are approved and all existing bowls are recertified, the number of total bowl games would increase to 35, up from 22 less than a decade ago.The bowl system last expanded in 2006 with the addition of four new games, including the Papajohns.com Bowl. That expansion coincided with the NCAA's move to a 12-game regular season and the elimination of restrictions against 6-6 teams and the counting of wins over I-AA opponents. The pool of eligible teams increased from 59 in 2004 to 73 in 2006. There were only seven bowl-eligible teams last year that missed the postseason: South Carolina, Troy, Northwestern, Louisville, Iowa, Ohio and Louisiana-Monroe. If the three new contests were in place last year, there would have been only one eligible team to spare. "That's cutting it pretty close," Richard Giannini, Southern Miss' athletics director and chairman of the NCAA bowl committee, told SI.com last week. The committee has the authority to certify anywhere from none to three of the new bowls. SI.com reported the Football Bowl Association has asked the bowl committee to proceed cautiously until enough 12-game seasons have been played to produce a more thorough set of data. "There may be some concern about how you say yes to some and no to others," Scott Ramsey, executive director of the Music City Bowl and chairman of the FBA, told SI.com. To be licensed by the NCAA, bowls are required to average actual attendance of 25,000, or 70 percent of stadium capacity, over a three-year period. Rather than guarantee a minimum payout, bowls can match the revenue total made by the participating conferences through their ticket sales and sponsorships. Papa John's recently extended its title sponsorship of Birmingham's bowl through 2009, with an option through 2011. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.al.com/sports/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/base/sports/120954336599410.xml&coll=2 Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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