College Football Bowl Game Changes to Begin in 2020

Beginning in 2020, the Las Vegas Bowl will annually feature a team from the Pac-12 against a team from the SEC or Big Ten, and a new bowl in Los Angeles will feature the Pac-12 against the Mountain West, sources told Stadium.

Other changes: The ACC will add the Holiday Bowl, the SEC and Big Ten will rotate between the Las Vegas and the Belk bowls, and the Outback Bowl will feature an ACC team if a Big Ten team is in the Orange Bowl, sources said.

The new conference tie-ins are expected to become official by May, when the NCAA’s new bowl cycle, from 2020-25, is formally announced.

Changes for the new bowl cycle starting in 2020, sources told Stadium, include:

The Las Vegas Bowl
In 2020, the Las Vegas Bowl moves from UNLV’s Sam Boyd Stadium to the new Las Vegas NFL stadium. In the course of the six-year deal, the SEC and Big Ten will each make three appearances against the Pac-12 in the Las Vegas Bowl. It’s expected to be either the third or fourth Pac-12 team after the Rose and Alamo Bowls are filled. It’s unknown what selection the SEC and Big Ten would send from their respective conference.

This will mark the first Pac-12 and SEC non-playoff bowl matchup since the 1989 Freedom Bowl. The Pac-12 currently plays bowl games against each of the Power 5 conferences except for the SEC. The two conferences have played in only nine non-College Football Playoff/New Year’s 6 bowls.

The Belk Bowl
The Charlotte-based bowl will rotate an SEC or Big Ten team, based on which league is in the Las Vegas Bowl. The Charlotte Bowl annually will feature an ACC team between 2020-25 against either an SEC or Big Ten team, with each league making three appearances. If an SEC team is in Las Vegas, a Big Ten team will be in Charlotte, and vice versa.

The new Los Angeles Bowl at Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park
The new LA bowl will feature the Pac-12 against the Mountain West. This is basically the old Las Vegas Bowl matchup with the bowl getting the first selection from the Mountain West against a Pac-12 team. The Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park opens in 2020 and will also host the 2023 College Football Playoff title game. This bowl is huge for the Mountain West, especially after its 19-year tie-in with the Las Vegas Bowl ends after this season.

The Holiday Bowl
With the Big Ten playing in Las Vegas and Belk, the Big Ten will not be affiliated with the Holiday Bowl after 2019 and will be replaced by the ACC. The San Diego-based bowl will feature the Pac-12 against the ACC from 2020-25.

The Gator Bowl
Starting in 2020, the Jacksonville-based bowl will feature an ACC vs. SEC matchup each season.

The Music City Bowl
Starting in 2020, the Nashville-based bowl will feature an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup each season.

The Outback Bowl
The Tampa-based bowl will still feature an SEC vs. Big Ten matchup, as it has since 1995. However, starting in 2020, when a Big Ten team earns a berth to the Orange Bowl, an ACC team will take the Big Ten’s place in the Outback Bowl. This arrangement previously was with the Citrus Bowl.

The Arizona Bowl
This year will mark the Sun Belt’s final season in the Arizona bowl. Starting in 2020, the Tucson-based bowl will pit the Mountain West against the Mid-American Conference.

The Myrtle Beach Bowl
The new bowl created by ESPN begins in 2020 and will feature teams from Conference USA, the Mid-American and Sun Belt. Each conference will play four times between 2020-25.

Starting with the new bowl cycle in 2020, here are the guaranteed minimum bowl tie-ins per conference (not including any teams that appear in the College Football Playoff):

ACC, SEC – 11
Big Ten – 9
Pac-12 – 8
Big 12 – 7
American – 7
Conference USA – 7
Mid-American – 6
Mountain West – 6
Sun Belt – 5

Army & BYU each can secure its own automatic bowl tie-in, but the remaining independents (Liberty, UMass and New Mexico State) must hope for an at-large spot from a conference that can’t fill all of its allotments in a specific year. Notre Dame remains part of the ACC’s bowl lineup if the Irish don’t qualify for a College Football Playoff or New Year’s 6 Bowl berth.

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