CHICAGO — When Big Ten athletic directors dig in to their first full day of business here Tuesday, bowl games will be on their minds.
Much of the formal part of the two-day meetings is expected to focus on creating new deals with bowl partners that could run for six years (2014-19) instead of the usual four.
The league’s current bowl contracts all expire after the coming season.
Two meeting participants, speaking Monday on background, said they are unsure if new bowl deals will be done this week, but some lineup changes are expected on Jan. 1.
The Big Ten basically has competed against itself on New Year’s Day the past four years.
Three games that day are played in the state of Florida, all with noon kickoffs — Capital One Bowl (Orlando), Outback (Tampa) and Gator (Jacksonville). All three games also are against opponents from the Southeastern Conference.
The Rose Bowl is played in the time slot right after those three bowls.
No one in the Big Ten wants the date and time of the Rose Bowl to change. But league schools have asked for a review of the Florida games, the simultaneous kickoff times and the opponents.
With Rutgers and Maryland joining the Big Ten in 2014, speculation is heavy that the Big Ten will try to work deals with a bowl or two on the East Coast, with games in New York and Washington, D.C., most likely.
The Big Ten’s two bowl games in Texas — Meineke Car Care (Houston) and Heart of Dallas — are possible candidates for non-renewal.
Chatter throughout the league has involved trying to get into California and playing more games against the Pac-12. The only current such matchup is in the Rose Bowl.
Other matters likely to be discussed are future scheduling in all sports, integration of Rutgers and Maryland into the scheduling grid and seeking more specific information on the College Football Playoff, which starts in 2014.
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