American Athletic Conference
As the both the new and remaining members of the Big East try to reinvent themselves in the American Athletic Conference, the reality of big-time college football continues to be an issue. Last month, we wrote that the Big East had bowl-game tie-ins with the Pinstripe and Belk Bowls, but the landscape might be radically altered in the future.
And the future, it seems, begins in 2014 when, according to ESPN.com's Brett McMurphy, the Pinstripe Bowl will feature two teams, neither of which will come from the AAC.
Starting in 2014, a team from the Big Ten annually will play an ACC team in the Pinstripe Bowl, sources said. However, the ACC partnership was not part of Monday afternoon’s news conference.
The aforementioned news conference involved Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany, who announced the new workings of the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium.
"When we began planning we had an objective to end up in New York at the New Era Pinstripe Bowl," Delany said. "We're in the east now with Maryland and Rutgers. Not only is New York the financial capital, sports capital of the country, but it is the place you need to be if you truly want to present a national slate of bowl games."
Great for the Big Ten, not so much for the AAC. There's more bad news. Again, McMurphy explains:
The Pinstripe also is expected to be in an ACC four-bowl pool with the Belk, Sun and Gator/Music City to get the third through sixth selections from the league.
This year, the last of the current bowl cycle, will match teams from the Big 12 and American Athletic (formerly the Big East) conferences.
This isn't out of the blue; the AAC saw the writing on the wall in the weeks and months leading up to Monday's announcement. Still, that doesn't change the fact that come 2014, there could be bowl-worthy AAC members with no place to play.