Matt Murschel | College Gridiron 365
11:14 AM EDT, June 25, 2013
Gator Bowl officials are reportedly set to announce a new six-year deal that will pit teams from the Southeastern Conference against teams from either the Big Ten or ACC.
The agreement, which is close to being finalized according to the Jacksonville Times-Union, could also feature Notre Dame as a potential opponent for the SEC as well. The Fighting Irish play a partial football schedule in the ACC starting in 2014, which allows them access to the league’s bowl tie-ins if Notre Dame fails to qualify for the College Football Playoffs.
“I believe we will have a deal with the SEC and we're looking to create a relationship with multiple conferences,” Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett told the Times-Union on Monday. “We're focusing on the Big Ten and the ACC and Notre Dame. I feel like we're really close.”
With most of the details surrounding the College Football Playoffs out of the way, conferences have turned their attentions to hammering out new bowl affiliation deals before the expiration of the current four-year cycle at the end of this season.
The Gator Bowl previously pitted teams from the SEC against those from the Big Ten.
Last season, Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
Multiple conference partnerships are quickly becoming the norm as league look to create the best possible matchups while providing a boost among ticket sales for each site. According to the Times-Union report, bowl games like the Gator could be among a group of games that form an alliance that allows each site to select teams from a pool.
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