DALLAS - Big 12 Conference Commissioner Kevin Weiberg announced Thursday seven conference bowl contracts, including the Bowl Championship Series, for post-2002-2005 seasons' activity, pending NCAA certification for the bowls.
The Big 12 will continue its association with the Bowl Championship Series through the 2005 regular season, and the league champion will play in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. The league champion also has a chance to play for the national championship in the four-year cycle, including when the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is the BCS title host.
The conference also extended agreements with the SBC Cotton Bowl, the Holiday, Alamo, MainStay Independence, and Houston Bowls for four years through the bowls following the 2005 campaign.
For the first time the league will send a team to the state of Florida on an annual basis as the Tangerine Bowl has been added to the contracted mix. The predecessor to the New Year's Day Capital One Florida Citrus Bowl existed from 1947-82. It was revived after the 2001 season, sharing the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium in Orlando as a pre-Christmas bowl.
"These new agreements give us seven guaranteed bowl positions over the next four years," said Weiberg, "and this insures outstanding postseason competition for our schools. We have been fortunate to have produced five BCS teams in the first four years of that relationship, and we have quality matchups in the other six bowl games.
"We appreciate our first-ever non-BCS contract with a bowl in Florida," he added, "and these agreements provide the Big 12 outstanding national television exposure. We also project an overall growth rate of some 15 percent in bowl payouts."
Last year eight Big 12 teams, including Colorado in the Tostitos Fiesta and Nebraska in the Rose (presented by AT&T) BCS Bowls, set a record for most appearances in one year by the conference.
The 2002 selection process also pits teams from this circuit against schools from at least six different conferences and leading Division I-A independents. The Big 12's representative in the SBC Cotton Bowl faces a team from the Southeastern Conference or has an option once every four years with football independent Notre Dame or the Big East Conference. In the Holiday Bowl the opponent comes from the Pacific-10 Conference. The Alamo Bowl features the Big 12 and Big Ten Conferences while the MainStay Independence Bowl is a Big 12-SEC match. The Houston Bowl opponent is a team from Conference USA, and the Big 12's first association with the Tangerine Bowl is a contest against an Atlantic Coast Conference foe.
Current Big 12 schools have appeared in 266 bowl games and have 125 victories over the past 80 seasons (since 1922). Post-1997 bowls marked the 64th consecutive year in which current Big 12 members have appeared in at least one postseason encounter. Since the conference began football competition in 1996, 38 teams from 10 Big 12 members have competed in bowls. From 1986-01 seven different schools from this circuit won conference football titles in their respective leagues.
The league also has been an active participant in almost 60 percent of the all-time six contracted bowls and the BCS.
Big 12 powers have played in 84 current BCS bowl games (including 50 games in the FedEx Orange Bowl), 45 SBC Cotton Bowl Classics, 10 Holiday Bowls, eight Alamo Bowls, eight MainStay Independence Bowls, two Houston Bowls, and five Tangerine or Florida Citrus Bowls.
Projected post-2002-05 payouts for the contracted Big 12 postseason contests include a minimum of $13 million for the Bowl Championship Series, $3 million for the SBC Cotton, $2 million for the Holiday, $1.5 million for the Alamo, $1.2 million for the MainStay Independence, $1.1 million for the Houston, and $750,000 for the Tangerine Bowl.
Selection process for these bowls is determined by each bowl's selection committee in consultation with the participating schools, Big 12 and other participating conference offices.