From Jon Wilner’s column:
It’s not the Weed-Eater Bowl anymore
Ever-so-slowly, clarity is coming to the Pac-12’s postseason lineup for the six-year cycle that begins next season.
The latest news comes from 2,000 miles away, courtesy of the Independence Bowl.
One of the oldest postseason games and based in Shreveport, La., the bowl announced Thursday that the Pac-12 will participate three times in the upcoming cycle:
2020: Pac-12 vs. Army
2023: Pac-12 vs. BYU
2024: Pac-12 vs. Army
We like the partnership. It gives Pac-12 teams exposure in fertile recruiting ground and helps market the conference in SEC country.
Army is less-than-ideal as an opponent, however: Pac-12 teams likely will be considered the favorite against the dastardly triple option. (The Service Academies are typically underdogs against the Power Five.)
The news from Shreveport brings to six the number of official partnership for the Pac-12’s new bowl lineup:
- Rose Bowl/CFP (official)
- Alamo Bowl vs. Big 12 (official)
3/4. Las Vegas Bowl vs. Big Ten/SEC (official)
4/3. Holiday Bowl vs. ACC (official)
- Redbox (unofficial)
- Sun (unofficial)
- Los Angeles vs. MW (official)
- Independence vs. Army/BYU (official)
The top four are set, with the Las Vegas and Holiday alternating positions in the lineup.
There has been no announcement about the Redbox or Sun bowls or how the conference will fill the lineup in the years (2021, 2022, 2025) it’s not part of the Independence matchup.
Nor have we confirmed the selection order for the games below the Holiday.
What we do know is that the 2020 lineup is an improvement.
Clamor all you want for the Pac-12 to face an SEC powerhouse in a marquee game in Florida, but it’s not realistic. Bowls are regional events.
The Pac-12 needed new-or-improved games in its territory, and it got them with the new venues in Las Vegas and Los Angeles. – Jon Wilner