Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
The Big 12 met with most of its bowl partners Tuesday during the course of the opening day of the conference's spring meetings in Colorado Springs.
The meetings were more informational than anything else with no changes expected in the current order. Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe told the Boulder Camera Tuesday at that he hopes to have the bowl announcements finalized for the 2011 season by September.
Until then, I can dream about where I'd like Big 12 bowl teams to end up in the future.
Here's the conference's current bowl lineup with the shared picks noted.
BCS -- Fiesta
Given my dreams, here's the way I would look at the conference's bowl future by adding another bowl as a ninth permanent partner.
No problems at the top as far as I can see it. The Fiesta Bowl connection for the Big 12 champion works. Some might argue that a beefed-up Cotton Bowl -- if it ever made the cut as a BCS destination -- would be a more logical fit for the Big 12's champion in most seasons than the Fiesta. But the trip to Glendale represents a big reward for a Big 12 champion and it should stay in place.
I would like to see the Cotton Bowl move into the BCS rotation as the fifth bowl. For a shot at an occasional national champion, I've got to think that Cotton Bowl officials would jump on whatever BCS teams they could attract. Playing in the palatial new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington where attendance can swell up to 100,000 for some games will make sense, too.
If the Cotton Bowl gets a boost in its first several seasons at the new stadium, I can see it becoming the ideal new bowl to move up into the BCS mix. It might be wishful thinking to believe the BCS bowls would let another "partner" into their rotation. But for the purposes of this fantasy, we'll work with it.
I'm thinking the Cotton Bowl likely wouldn't have much interest in a Big 12 championship game loser, because in many opportunities, it will have played there a few weeks earlier in the championship game.
As such, we need a new place for the No. 2 Big 12 team. I'd like to propose that the Alamo Bowl finds the funding to make a move into the New Year's Day rotation. It would be an ideal place for the Big 12 No. 2 team to play. It would represent a nice trip for a championship game loser as there likely won't be many Big 12 title games played outside the Arlington/Kansas City rotation in the future.
It will be up to Alamo Bowl officials to find the funding to make it happen. But after seeing a bunch of Valero stations during my recent trip to Connecticut, I'm thinking their current sponsor has the kind of deep pockets financially to make it happen.
The conference has had a strong affiliation with the Holiday Bowl for its third team, and I'd like to see that continue. But for the purposes of the fantasy, I'd like to see the Pac-10 find a new location for its No. 2 team. A true No. 3 vs. No. 3 matchup would be better for competitive purposes rather than the current Big 12 No. 3 vs. Pac. 10 No. 2.
The Gator Bowl has served as a good location for Big 12 teams in recent seasons. How about a permanent hook with them as the Big 12's No. 4 bowl against an Atlantic Coast Conference team?
For the fifth position, how about seeing the Texas Bowl in Houston move up after struggling near the bottom of the Big 12's rotation since its inception. It just makes sense to see this bowl grow in future years.
For the purposes of fantasy and cool bowl trips, give me San Francisco for the No. 6 position. I've always thought the Emerald Bowl is a potential jewel with the right funding and the right teams. It would give the conference another shot in California at a premier destination city. It's my fantasy, so let's keep it that way.
In the seventh hole, how about a trip to Las Vegas? I'm sure few fans or Big 12 teams would mind hooking with the Las Vegas Bowl as a fun bowl trip. The casinos and golf courses would be more of a reason to travel there than watching the bowl.
For the eighth slot, how about a trip to Albuquerque and the New Mexico Bowl. Maybe it's my love for all things slathered with green chili, but I would think this would be a good -- and realistic -- hook-up for the conference.
And for the ninth slot, who needs a trip to Shreveport or Houston or Fort Worth? Let's go big and try for the Hawaii Bowl. It might take some of the stigma of finishing in the bottom reaches among the Big 12 bowl-eligible if teams and fans knew they would be visiting Hawaii for their bowl game.
So how about it?
Anybody else have their bowl lineups for the conference they'd like to propose?