El Pass-o: Sun Bowl drops Big East for ACC
One day after the Big East announced a new agreement with the Champs Sports Bowl, the league lost would could have been the next bowl on its ladder, as the Sun Bowl has opted to a new four-year deal with the ACC starting with the 2010 postseason.
"The Big East has been wanting us to make a decision, and we decided to move in that direction," said John Folmer, the chairman of the bowl's football committee. "For us, we made a living a long, long time ago off the ACC, and we have an opportunity that we think is a better scenario for us."
Instead of the No. 3 team from the Big East, the Sun Bowl will get what is essentially the No. 5 ACC team, likely the loser of the ACC Championship Game most seasons. The Big East previously had a hybrid agreement with the Gator and Sun bowls where each bowl had the league's No. 2 team (or Notre Dame) twice in a four-year cycle, but now the league has no affiliation with either bowl.
That means the league is likely to remain with the Meineke Car Care Bowl for its No. 3 team -- bowl director Will Webb said Wednesday that "that's what we were hoping" though no formal agreement has been reached. Webb said he expects his bowl to remain a Big East-ACC game in the next bowl cycle.
What direction does the Big East turn next? The league has existing relationships with bowls in St. Petersburg, Birmingham and Toronto, but could turn to a new bowl to upgrade the lineup. St. Petersburg Bowl executive director Brett Dulaney said Monday that he's confident his bowl will remain part of the Big East lineup in the next four-year cycle