How The Pac-10 Bowl Lineup Should Look

It is no secret that the Pac-10 has a second-rate bowl lineup. Outgoing commissioner Tom Hansen has advanced the conference's visibility but has been stuck in the past. Other conferences like the Big 10 and Big 12 grab fan's attention with creative marketing in the 21st century.

Reposted with permission from Bleacher Report

(Note: The views expressed are those of the author only and may not necessarily be shared by eDuck Sports, LLC)

The Pac-10 is the only major conference with just one New Years Day bowl affiliation. The Rose Bowl is partially to blame for this because it deters other people interested in starting a New Years Day bowl game. The conference did have an affiliation with the Cotton Bowl in the early 1990's and looking back, it was a shame to lose that affiliation.

With the exception of the Rose Bowl, all bowl games put higher rated Pac-10 teams against lower rated teams from opposing conferences. This is unfortunate because it presents a lose-lose scenario. If the Pac-10 teams play well, there will be an asterisk because they were playing teams that finished lower in their own conferences. If they lose, the media will recognize that they played lower rated competition.

There are a few intriguing scenarios out there, but first lets explain what will most likely not happen.

The Pac-10 will probably never be affiliated with a Florida bowl game New Years Day or otherwise. Bowl officials will not take a team from the west coast, especially in these economic times because their fans will not travel to Florida.

It is highly unlikely that the Pac-10 re-affiliates with the Cotton Bowl anytime soon. The cotton is happy with their current Big 12 v. SEC match up for travel and competition reasons.

Pac-10 V. SEC – Now for things Pac-10 fans could hope for. If the conference wants an annual match up with an SEC team, the best shot is the Liberty Bowl. Although unlikely, the Liberty Bowl would be a perfect place for a Pac-10 v. SEC match up. Although the Pac-10 team would travel further, a lower seeded team could be sent to Memphis.

This won't happen because Conference-USA loves this game and has been a part of it for a very long time. Also, it is a long trip from the west coast to Memphis.

Remember The Alamo – This looks to be the conference's best shot to pick up a higher profile bowl game. This year the Alamo is moving to January 2. It is currently affiliated with the Big 12 and Big 10, but look for the Pac-10 to take the Big 12's spot. This would be a great pickup for recruiting and exposure reasons. Also, this would be another good opportunity for a Pac-10 v. SEC match up. The only major reason this wouldn't happen is because the Alamo is currently satisfied with its affiliations.

Aloha Hawaii – Long a forgotten bowl, due to scheduling issues and an affiliation with Conference-USA, the Hawaii Bowl should be attractive for Pac-10 teams especially if the bowl could get a contract with the Mountain West for one of their two top teams. It is an exotic location with many things to do outside of the game. Unfortunately, it is scheduled for Christmas Eve.

Having laid the ground work for a new and exciting bowl lineup, below is a reasonable best case scenario for the Pac-10:

Rose Bowl – Pac-10 #1 v. Big 10 #1 – No reason to go away from the "grand daddy of ‘em all!"

Holiday Bowl – Pac 10 #2 v. Big 12 #3 – It has been known as one of the most exciting games of the bowl season for many years. The match ups are good and the location is perfect.

Alamo Bowl – Pac-10 #3 v. Big 10 #4 – As I said earlier, A bowl game in Texas would help exposure and recruiting. The Alamo could drop both current affiliations. In this case the SEC would be the most likely candidate to take the other spot, sending a mid-level team to San Antonio.

Sun Bowl – Pac-10 #4 v. Big 12 or Big East – A traditional bowl game in El Paso, but a very difficult place for travel and not exactly warm in December. This stays on because there are not many other options.

Liberty Bowl – Pac-10 #5 v. SEC – The conference has sent teams to the bowl before and would love a guaranteed SEC match up. This would be a big pickup for the Pac-10.

Emerald Bowl – Pac-10 #6 v. ACC 5/6/ – San Francisco presents colder weather in December too, but it gives the Pac-10 a chance to defend their home turf against an east coast team. The game does get good national attention and having teams like Miami traveling west to play the Pac-10 is never a bad thing.

Las Vegas/Hawaii Bowl – Pac-10 #7 v. MWC/WAC #1 – Although it is unlikely the Pac-10 gets 7 teams eligible until they get rid of round robin scheduling, it is worth throwing in here. Both are fun locations and would get people to travel. The opponents may not be the best, especially with the recent success of undefeated mid-major teams in the BCS, (sending lower teams to these bowls), but the locations are enough of a selling point to make the idea float.

We won't know until after this season what bowl affiliations will change, but with Hanson gone, expect to see changes in all facets of the conference. Check back next week for a look at expanding the Pac-10 and which teams deserve to be included.

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