Final Orange Bowl Deal Announced

Mike Ehrmann

The SEC will get to play at least three times in Miami.

The final terms of the new Orange Bowl deal are public, and the SEC will be sure to get some games in sunny Miami:

The Atlantic Coast Conference and the Orange Bowl Committee announced today that the Discover Orange Bowl will annually feature the ACC Champion against an opponent from the Big Ten Conference, Southeastern Conference or University of Notre Dame as part of the 12-year agreement that begins following the 2014 season. In addition, ESPN will serve as the broadcast partner, and the historic bowl game will either be played in an exclusive prime-time window New Year’s Eve or on New Year’s Day, pending the schedule of the new collegiate postseason playoff games.

The selection of the opponent will be based on the guiding principle of securing the highest-ranked team in the final standings available from the Big Ten, SEC or Notre Dame, but will also utilize criteria that shares the minimum appearance standards as agreed upon by all parties. The standards include at least three guaranteed appearances over the 12 years for both the Big Ten and the SEC and a maximum of two with no minimum for Notre Dame.

That's dense, so here's the money part: the SEC and Big Ten will each get at least three appearances in the next 12 years. Notre Dame will get no more than two, and it has no minimum number. So for the first few years, the game will probably just pick whoever is highest among Notre Dame, the first available SEC team, and the first available Big Ten team. After a while, it probably will have to start making picks in order to make sure the promises get fulfilled.

In short, the Orange Bowl is completely spoken for in ten of the 12 years of the new BCS successor system. It will be a semifinal in four of them, have an ACC/SEC game in three more, and an ACC/Big Ten game in the other three. In the final two, it will be ACC versus either Notre Dame or an at large team.

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