Barring a late addition, the Big Ten's future bowl lineup is now official as the league announced today that it has continued its agreement with the Heart of Dallas Bowl and added the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl to the mix.
Big Ten teams will appear in the bowls on a rotational basis from the 2014-19 seasons. A Big Ten team will appear in the Heart of Dallas Bowl following the 2013 season and face an opponent from Conference USA.
The agreement keeps Big Ten teams in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex on an annual bases and maintains the Big Ten's postseason presence in the Lone Star State, where it has appeared in bowls like the Alamo in San Antonio, the Sun in El Paso and, more recently, the Texas Bowl in Houston. Big Ten teams have appeared in at least one Texas bowl since 1995.
The Big Ten has been aligned with the Heart of Dallas Bowl (formerly TicketCity Bowl) since the 2010 season. No Big Ten teams have appeared in the Armed Forces Bowl, which launched in 2003. The Heart of Dallas Bowl takes place at the historic Cotton Bowl stadium, while the Armed Forces Bowl is played at TCU's Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Here's what the Big Ten's bowl lineup will look like following the Rose Bowl, other College Football Playoff games and the Orange Bowl, where a Big Ten team will appear at least three times after the 2014-25 seasons. Remember that the Big Ten is abandoning the traditional bowl pecking order for a tiered selection system, which ideally will create fresher, more appealing matchups across the board.
The rundown ...
Capital One: Likely vs. SEC
Outback: Likely vs. SEC
Holiday: vs. Pac-12
Gator/Music City (rotating tie-in): Likely vs. SEC
Kraft Fight Hunger: vs. Pac-12
Pinstripe: vs. ACC
Heart of Dallas/Armed Forces: Opponents TBA
New Detroit Bowl: Likely vs. ACC
The Big Ten set out to form a truly national bowl lineup and appears to have achieved it here. There's a lot more flexibility in bowls and with the selection process, and a good mix of new cities/venues. The Big Ten will see the Pac-12 and ACC more often, while one major drawback of the lineup is fewer games against Big 12 foes.
What are your thoughts on the Big Ten's future bowl lineup?