- Oil rig worker says he saw missing plane go down: report
- Pentagon: U.S. F-16 fighter jets to train with Poland near Ukraine
- Jerry Sandusky’s wife: Victims manipulated over money
- Ben Carson: America’s now ‘very much like Nazi Germany’
- Heroin found on N.J. toddler at day care
- Pistorius trial: Police conduct faces scrutiny
- Gaza militants fire large rocket barrage at Israel
- CBO chief: Projected job loss numbers from minimum wage hike are fluid
- Rep. Rangel: ‘No question’ Harlem explosion is result of gas leak, not terrorism
- Dog left in car blasts horn for 15 minutes
EagleBank sets up bowl deals
The EagleBank Bowl sought to continue to grow its nascent game in the latest round of college football postseason contracts.
Adding a deal with the Big 12 certainly could meet that aim.
The D.C.-based game announced deals with three conferences and two independents Tuesday, agreements that will carry the bowl through 2013.
The ACC will send its No. 8 selection to the game at RFK Stadium for all four seasons of the agreement. Conference USA is locked into 2010 as a primary partner and 2012 as a backup option to Army. The Big 12 will send its No. 8 selection in 2013 and act as a secondary option if Navy is not bowl eligible in 2011.
"We talked to almost every conference, and we just whittled down the ones that really wanted us," said Steve Beck, the EagleBank Bowl's executive director. "With the ACC, Conference USA and the Big 12, I feel those are three conferences that really wanted to be a part of the EagleBank Bowl. They were really coming after us."
The coup of the deals arguably is the addition of the Big 12, which ensures at least one matchup between power conferences for a game established just last year.
It is also a rare case of a contracted ACC-Big 12 postseason pairing. The conferences met in the Champs Sports Bowl earlier this decade and the last two years in the Gator Bowl.
"We're the only place that has the ACC-Big 12 matchup to my knowledge in the current bowl lineup and, from what I've heard, in the future," Beck said. "I think that's huge for us. We have three major conference tie-ins and also two out of three independents."
The Conference USA deal stipulates a "mutually agreeable regional selection" from the far-flung league will send a representative to the District. In all likelihood, it would be a team from C-USA's East Division.
Navy (2008) and Army (2009) already had relationships with the EagleBank Bowl.
The same is true of the ACC, which sent its No. 9 selection, Wake Forest, to last year's game before the conference dropped the Humanitarian Bowl and bumped the EagleBank Bowl up a slot in the bowl pecking order.
Both geography and diversity of opposition created appeal for the ACC to remain with the game.
"It is a great destination but also makes sense for us from a recruiting standpoint and also being in such close proximity that fans can get there with relative ease," said Michael Kelly, the ACC's associate commissioner for football operations and communications. "It's a good variety of opponents. It already was with the service academies. Throw in the Big 12 and Conference USA, and there are unique matchups that we don't always get during the regular season."
Before the new deal kicks in, however, the game must still determine its participants for this year's event. The No. 8 selection from the ACC and Army are under contract. If the Black Knights (3-5) cannot win three of their last four games, the bowl would select a team from Conference USA East, potentially East Carolina or Marshall if they are available.
The ACC, which had 10 bowl-eligible teams last year, is struggling to fill its allotment of nine postseason berths. It isn't a stretch for the conference to produce just seven bowl-bound teams - a scenario Beck hopes does not develop.
"I believe Conference USA is going to give us a very good regional team, so I do not see that being an issue [if Army doesn't qualify]," Beck said. "As for the ACC, I still have faith they'll come through with eight."
About the Author
Patrick Stevens has covered Maryland and other Mid-Atlantic college sports for more than a decade. You can reach him at email@example.com.
- George Mason's defense dissipates in 84-74 loss to Northeastern
- Maryland's Pe'Shon Howard willing to let others put ball in the basket
- At 7-5, George Mason looks on the bright side entering CAA play
- Terps beat IUPUI, set for ACC after final tuneup
- Maryland's Jake Layman shows signs of progress in freshman season
Latest Blog Entries
An America drowning in red ink is the land of the free no more
- Inside the Beltway: A new interest in Rahm Emanuel for 2016?
- Female TSA officers say pat-down duty leads to workplace discrimination
- HURT: John Kerry The ridiculous face of a ridiculous U.S. diplomacy
- Deportations come mostly from border, DHS chief says
- Special ops forces wearing thin from high demand
- Last laugh: Marine vet fires off jokes from the grave with own obituary
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
- Ben Carson: America's now 'very much like Nazi Germany'
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Chaos as Manhattan building explodes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again