As had long been expected, the Sun Bowl today officially announced it has extended its partnership with the Pac-10 Conference through 2013 and aligned with the Atlantic Coast Conference from 2010-2013.
A press release states that the new alignment will feature the third selection after the Bowl Championship Series from the Pac-10 (or No. 4 or No. 5 overall) against either the runner-up of the Dr Pepper ACC Football Championship Game or the third selection after the BCS from the ACC.
The release continues to stay that:
“The Brut Sun Bowl has the second longest current relationship with the Pac-10, hosting a league school for 14 consecutive years. Nine of the league’s 10 schools have participated in the Brut Sun Bowl 25 times, with California as the lone school to have never played in the Sun Bowl.
“The Pac-10 is very happy to extend its longtime relationship with the Brut Sun Bowl,” said Commissioner Larry Scott. “The Sun Bowl has been a good and loyal partner over the years and through its New Year’s Eve positioning on CBS provides an excellent showcase for the Pac-10 teams. We look forward to many more years of partnership.”
The Atlantic Coast Conference is also no stranger to the Brut Sun Bowl, but has not sent a team to El Paso since 1994. In all, ACC schools have made 10 appearances, with North Carolina appearing four times – 1972, 1974, 1982 and 1994.”
This sews up the Pac-10’s bowl lineup for the years 2010-13 in what was one of the first significant moves for Scott, who took over as the conference’s new commissioner on July 1.
The big change in all of this was a new deal with the Alamo Bowl to send the No. 2 team (after the BCS picks) to face the No. 2 team (after the BCS pick) from the Big 12.
So the Pac-10 bowl lineup for the 2010-13 seasons will look like this:
Rose — Pac-10 champ here or to BCS title game
Alamo — First pick after the BCS selections vs. Big 12
Holiday — Second pick after BCS vs. Big 12 No. 4
Sun — Third pick vs. ACC runner-up or No. 3
Vegas — Fourth pick vs. Mountain West No, 1
Emerald — Fifth pick vs. WAC/Army or Navy
And the fact that the bowls get a pick and not a pre-assigned team is an important distinction. The bowls can skip over a team higher in the standings to take one lower if it prefers — as long as the lower team does not have conference record two games worse than the one being passed over. The bowls want that flexibility to get the best matchup possible and avoid repeat appearances, that sort of thing.