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A day after adding a new bowl game to its postseason lineup, the Big Ten took steps in fortifying one of the top bowls on its postseason lineup.
Outback Bowl officials announced Friday an agreement to extend the contract with the Big Ten six additional years through the 2019 college football season. The agreement extends a 20-year relationship with the conference to play in Tampa on New Year's Day at Raymond James Stadium.
"After celebrating a 20th straight appearance in the city of Tampa last New Year's Day, we are happy to announce that Big Ten teams will continue to take part in the Outback Bowl through the 2019 season," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. "Since the Big Ten made its first appearance at the bowl in 1988, nine different conference schools have had the opportunity to take the field in Tampa, and this bowl will continue to be a wonderful and rewarding postseason destination for student-athletes and fans. With a premier NFL facility in Raymond James Stadium and a large alumni base in the state of Florida, we think the Outback Bowl is another terrific addition to a national schedule of bowl competition."
"We are proud and thrilled to extend our relationship with the Big Ten for six additional years," noted Outback Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay. "The Big Ten and Outback Bowl are a perfect fit. We love the teams, bands, fans and the tradition and history of the conference. We appreciate our wonderful relationship with Commissioner Delany, the school presidents and Big Ten Athletic Directors. They are great partners."
The Outback Bowl has hosted a Big Ten team in its game the past 20 years and 24 times in its 27-year history.
Wisconsin has played in the Outback Bowl three times, losing to Georgia on New Year's Day 1998 and 2005 and Tennessee on New Year's Day 2008. Wisconsin also played in game when it was known as the Hall of Fame bowl, beating Duke (Jan.2, 1995).