Kevin C. Cox
Regardless of how the new post-season format shakes out, ESPN has now locked in agreements with the Sugar and Rose Bowls until 2026.
With the state of the BCS and the new post-season system in college football still in flux, ESPN announced on Wednesday that they had reached an agreement for the multimedia rights to the Sugar Bowl until 2026.
The game in New Orleans, which had previously been referred to as the Champions Bowl, will pit the champions of the Big 12 and the SEC against each other, if they aren't already part of the new plus-1 post-season format.
It's similar to the agreement that ESPN reached with the Rose Bowl, which has a similar agreement with the Big 10 and Pac-12 conferences.
These agreements give ESPN a huge voice at the negotiating table while also boosting the top four conferences ahead of the rest of college football now that the "BCS" distinction is being eliminated.
As a result, the outlines of a new power structure are starting to fall in place: the SEC, Big 12, Pac-12 and Big 10 a step ahead of the ACC, then the new-look Big East and finally the remaining "non-BCS" conferences.