The Big Ten Conference formally announced partnerships with the Holiday Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunter Bowl yesterday and while no announcement was made about a new bowl game in Detroit, that remains a possibility. From the Detroit News:
“Let’s just say we’ve had a lot of very good conversations with respect to Detroit, and we’re still having those conversations,” Delany said. “We’re not ready to announce, but we’re hopeful we’ll be able to have a good connection in the Midwest.”
ESPN reported last month that the Detroit Lions were working to create and operate their own bowl game to replace the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl at Ford Field. The intention is to keep the Big Ten but replace the MAC with a tie-in to the ACC.
While a Big Ten/ACC matchup is more compelling, the new bowl doesn’t figure to get a better place in the Big Ten’s postseason pecking order. The league is instituting a tiered system to keep some say in where teams are sent with the goal of keeping a fresh mix of bowls and locations for the teams and their fans.
ESPN’s Big Ten Blog took a stab at how the tiers might play out behind the Rose Bowl and the new Lions bowl lands in the bottom tier:
Top tier: Capital One, Outback, Holiday
Middle tier: Gator/Music City (sharing a tie-in during six-year agreement), Kraft Fight Hunger, Pinstripe
Lower tier: Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces (sharing a tie-in during six-year agreement), new Detroit bowl (managed by Detroit Lions)
Had the game been in place for the 2012 season we may have seen a bowl match-up between Purdue and Duke or Michigan State and NC State.
There isn’t any indication of when an official announcement could be made. It would seem that something could happen in the next couple weeks considering other bowl announcements are being made and the Detroit Lions have about a four week break before training camp begins.