SBD/October 23, 2012/Colleges

Decision For Champions Bowl Site Comes Down To Dallas, New Orleans

As the SEC and Big 12 "near a decision on the Champions Bowl site, the loser between the two finalists will likely have a cushy consolation prize -- a spot in the college football playoff rotation," according to Jeremy Fowler of CBSSPORTS.com. Bowl officials said that it is "tough to replace 70-plus years of SEC tradition with the Sugar Bowl, which could give New Orleans the edge over the Cotton Bowl in Dallas." Fowler noted helping matters is the Sugar Bowl's "financial reserve of what one bowl exec estimates at around $44 million." But no longer "handcuffed by the antiquated stadium at Texas' Fair Park, the Cotton Bowl is poised to become a major player." It is "possible Dallas could one day host a national championship game and the Red River Rivalry in the same season." The Mercedes-Benz Superdome "isn't the shiny new toy but is still capable of hosting a quality bowl." Florida Citrus Sports CEO & Football Bowl Association Chair Steve Hogan, whose company runs the Capital One Bowl and Russell Athletic Bowl, said that both cities "can make a good case." If the "Big 12 wants Dallas and the SEC wants New Orleans, it wouldn't be a total shock if the SEC won out" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/22).

THE FABRIC OF FOOTBALL: CBSSPORTS.com's Dennis Dodd noted it has been "a decade and a half now since the Cotton didn't make the cut as one of the four BCS bowls." It has been "a long, sometimes frustrating slog since then." Cotton Bowl President & CEO Rick Baker, Dallas and the bowl "were hopeful 15 years ago but were basically beaten out by John Junker and the Fiesta Bowl." Cotton Bowl VP/External Affairs Michael Konradi said, “We were playing with an old antiquated stadium, [that] was the biggest issue. Now that we have a stadium...” Dodd noted even if the city "doesn't become the site of the lucrative Champions Bowl in the next few days, the stadium almost certainly will be a part of new playoff rotation." But getting the Champions Bowl -- featuring the "SEC and Big 12 champs if available -- would be a validation of that long, hard fight back to relevancy for the Cotton." Sources said that the Champions "would take the name of the Cotton Bowl if Dallas wins the bid." Dallas "seems like it is about to become bigger time in college football" (CBSSPORTS.com, 10/22).
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