Four cities apply to host bowl games

Four cities -- Austin, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Orlando, Florida -- applied to the NCAA to add new bowl games this season, sources told ESPN.com.

If approved as expected, there would be a record 43 bowl games, including the College Football Playoff title game, requiring 84 teams to fill each bowl. That would mean 66 percent of the 127 FBS teams would go bowling.

Wednesday was the deadline for cities seeking to add a new bowl. The NCAA will make a decision in a few weeks whether to approve the games.

Three of the four new bowls would feature teams from the American Athletic Conference. If those are approved, that would give the American nine bowl tie-ins for 12 teams in 2015 -- the highest percentage of bowl games per conference.

By comparison, in 2015, the SEC has 10 guaranteed bids for 14 teams, the Big Ten nine for 14 teams, the ACC nine for 15 teams (including Notre Dame), the Big 12 seven for 10 teams and the Pac-12 seven for 12 teams.

If the four new bowl games are approved, there will have been nine new bowls added in the past two years. By comparison, 20 years ago there were only 18 bowls.

"As long as the standard to go to a bowl remains 6-6, commissioners will be pressured to have bowl games for all their conference teams to play in," an industry source said. "That's why you keep seeing more and more bowls added."

The Cure Bowl in Orlando already has a TV deal with CBS Sports Network. It is set for Dec. 19 at the Citrus Bowl, featuring teams from the American and Sun Belt conferences.

The bowl in Tucson, tentatively named the Arizona Bowl, will be held at the University of Arizona's stadium, featuring teams from the Mountain West and Conference USA.

The bowl in Little Rock, to be held at War Memorial Stadium, will pit teams from the American and Sun Belt.

The bowl in Austin will feature teams from the American and C-USA. It's not known yet where the game would be played -- either at the University of Texas or in the Austin area, a source said.

Fox Sports, CBS Sports Network and NBC Sports Network are the likely networks that would televise the new bowls, a source said. Industry sources said ESPN/ABC, which televised 38 of the 39 bowl games last season, does not have any interest in televising any of the new bowls.