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With an expanding conference to 14 teams coming next season, the Big Ten continues to make moves to fortify its postseason bowl lineup across the country. Continuing its partnership with the Gator Bowl and creating a new agreement with the Music City Bowl and the ACC, the Big Ten will share a tie-in with both the Gator and Music City bowls for games taking place following the 2014-19 seasons.
The Big Ten will have three teams in each bowl during the six-year agreement. The ACC has the exact same agreement with both bowls, offering maximum flexibility in the team selection process.
The Big Ten returns to the Music City Bowl, where it had a tie-in from 2002-05. Minnesota made three appearances in the game during the four-year span. The Big Ten has partnered with the Gator Bowl the last three years, sending Michigan, Ohio State and Northwestern to Jacksonville.
"We are excited for Big Ten football to return to Nashville," said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany in a statement. "Over the last 15 years, this bowl has been successful in creating a memorable trip for student-athletes and fans who travel to the mid-south. The Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl, in partnership with the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, is a welcome addition to our national bowl lineup and will provide Big Ten teams and fans a rewarding postseason experience."
With the additions of Notre Dame, Louisville, Pittsburgh and Syracuse, the ACC expands to 15 teams within its conference bowl affiliations. Beginning July 1, 2014, the Big Ten will be comprised of 14 teams, adding Maryland and Rutgers.
Through the new partnership, the TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl will join the College Football Playoff bowls as two of very few major postseason games with multiple conference affiliations.
The Big Ten/ACC opponent for both games has yet to be announced, but the SEC is expected to occupy spots in both games on an annual basis.