For those who wanted to write off the Big East in football after the loss of Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, forget it. The conference is working well with it's new members and has added a new bowl to the mix. This is the official press release from the Big East Conference about the new bowl game that will start in the 2006 season.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The BIG EAST Conference has entered into a four-year agreement to participate in the EV1.net Houston Bowl and will meet an opponent from the Big 12 Conference beginning in the 2006 season. The EV1.net Houston Bowl is played at the state-of-the-art Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
The EV1.net Houston Bowl will be able to select a BIG EAST team after the league's Bowl Championship Series representative has been determined and a BIG EAST team is invited to either the Toyota Gator Bowl or the Vitalis Sun Bowl. During any year when Notre Dame participates in the Gator or Sun Bowls, the EV1.net Houston Bowl will get first choice of a BIG EAST team after the league's BCS representative has been identified. The EV1.Net Houston Bowl has the ability to choose Notre Dame once over the four-year agreement.
"The BIG EAST is extremely excited about our new partnership with the Houston Bowl Foundation," said BIG EAST Commissioner Michael Tranghese. "As the fourth largest city in the United States, Houston is a very desirable destination that will certainly provide our student-athletes with a positive bowl experience. Also, we have the opportunity to face an opponent from the Big 12 and play in what is arguably the best football stadium in the nation. I believe this newly formed relationship will prove to be extremely beneficial to our member schools and also help enhance the growing prestige of the EV1.net Houston Bowl."
"The EV1.net Houston Bowl looks forward to establishing a strong long-term relationship with the BIG EAST Conference and Notre Dame. We are also excited about extending our relationship with the Big 12 Conference through the 2009 bowl season," stated Shea Guinn, Chairman of the Board for the Houston Bowl Foundation. "This three-way partnership will enable us to continue the progress that the Houston Bowl Foundation has made over the past 12 months -- and also further enhance our ongoing efforts to establish a great annual Houston event. We are excited about our new partnerships and are anticipating some fantastic post-season college football bowl games for Houstonians to enjoy in the years ahead."
"Big 12 teams have been a part of the EV1.Net Houston Bowl since its inception and we appreciate the continued opportunity to have a presence in Houston," said Big 12 Commissioner Kevin Weiberg. "We look forward to the challenge of playing against a top team from the BIG EAST Conference."
The BIG EAST Conference regular season champion is contracted to participate in one of the Bowl Championship Series bowl games each year. In addition, the conference announced earlier this year a unique bowl agreement to compete in the Gator and/or Sun Bowl. The BIG EAST also sends a team to the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte, N.C.