Big 12 could replace 'Big East' in Russell Athletic Bowl

J. Meric

The conference still technically known as the Big East continues to lose whatever is left of its relevance: the Big 12 is reportedly in talks to replace them in the Russell Athletic Bowl, where the No. 2 Big East team usually goes.

The Big East -- or, well, the America 12 -- might lose its best non-BCS bowl tie-in: Brett McMurphy of ESPN reports that the Big 12 is in discussions with the Russell Athletic Bowl to replace the sputtering conference in the game.

The switch would go into effect for the 2014 edition of the bowl game. It's unclear where the bowl that currently takes the No. 2 team in the Big East would sit on the Big 12's bowl selection ladder, but they'd still be playing a team from the ACC, which currently sends its No. 3 team. There will likely be some serious reshaping of the bowl selection system after the BCS gives way to a four-team playoff for the 2014-2015 season, and it wouldn't be surprising to see more tie-ins switch around.

The Big 12 has long been looking for a link to recruit-rich Florida, either by expansion or by bowl tie-ins, and a game in Orlando would provide that. As of now, the conference is linked to five bowls in Texas, one in California, and one in Arizona.

The conference still technically known as the Big East seems likely to lose pretty much everything: it's already lost the majority of its teams, its status as a power conference, and is about to lose its name. Now, it appears to be losing a very solid bowl tie-in and the money that comes from it. There could still be more to follow.

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