The SEC won't have to travel far when the Champions Bowl rolls around.
The Rose Bowl-style game that will feature an SEC team and a Big 12 team will make its home in New Orleans and will be played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, sources told ESPN.com. New Orleans was chosen over the Cotton Bowl in Arlington, Texas, which was the other finalist for the game.
The game will be called the Sugar Bowl, as the "Champions Bowl" name was just a temporary placeholder.
Here's what SEC commissioner Mike Slive said about New Orleans and the new Sugar Bowl:
"New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl are synonymous with postseason college football. For many years, fans have enjoyed the color and pageantry that New Orleans offers. The Mercedes-Benz Superdome has hosted many Super Bowls, Sugar Bowls and National Championship Games and having teams from the Big 12 and the SEC in a post-season college football game together only adds to this list. We look forward to competing against the Big 12 as a new championship tradition begins on New Year's Day."
New Orleans and the Sugar Bowl go together with the SEC like cheese and grits. The SEC played in the inaugural Sugar Bowl in 1935 and has been a routine representative there ever since.
It's a win for the Sugar Bowl and the SEC. Fans will have little trouble getting to New Orleans and creating quite the home-field atmosphere. Atlanta might be the hub of the South, but New Orleans is a close second. Playing in Jerry's World would have been pretty cool, but the SEC should be pretty happy about being such a comfortable venue. The Cotton Bowl will still be in the semifinal rotation for the playoff that will begin after the 2014 regular season.
The Big 12 should also have a pretty good time in New Orleans. I mean, who doesn't enjoy a weekend on Bourbon Street?