The Big Ten's new bowl lineup allows the league to dominate the airwaves on New Year's Day, and you can see it on the ESPN family of networks.
ESPN on Thursday signed a new deal with the Gator Bowl and extended its contracts with both the Capital One Bowl and the Outback Bowl. All three bowls pair teams from the Big Ten and the SEC and will be played in the early afternoon on New Year's Day, creating a "roadblock" of games that feed into the Rose Bowl. ESPN has television rights to both the Gator Bowl and the Outback Bowl through 2014 and to the Capital One Bowl through 2018.
Here's how the New Year's Day bowl lineup will look:
Outback Bowl: ABC, 1 p.m. ET
Capital One Bowl: ESPN, 1 p.m. ET
Gator Bowl: ESPN2, 1:30 p.m. ET
Notice that the Outback Bowl moves from 11 a.m. ET to a later time slot. The Capital One Bowl remains at 1 p.m. but could kick off anywhere between noon-1:30 p.m. ET in future years.
The Capital One Bowl kicks off a New Year's Day tripleheader on ESPN that includes the Rose Bowl Game presented by Citi and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
"We are thrilled to add the Gator Bowl to our extensive postseason coverage and to extend our longstanding relationships with the Capital One Bowl and Outback Bowl," Dave Brown, vice president, ESPN programming & acquisitions, said in a statement. "These premier matchups between teams from two elite conferences in a three-wide ‘roadblock’ across the ESPN platforms will drive viewers to our inaugural Rose Bowl Game telecast."
The Capital One Bowl will continue to pick the first team from both the Big Ten and the SEC after the BCS selections are made. The Outback Bowl will have the second pick from both leagues after the BCS, and the Gator Bowl will pit the No. 5 SEC team against the No. 3 or No. 4 Big Ten team.
The Big Ten announced agreements with seven bowls in October, and it remains likely that an agreement with an eighth game, the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl in Detroit, will be reached.