Officials from the Big 12 wrapped up discussions Tuesday involving the future of the conference including the possibility of new bowl agreements that could feature at least one game in the state of Florida.

After meeting with athletic directors from member schools, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told reporters that the group discussed a variety of subjects from NCAA legislation down to the fan experience at sporting events.

One of the topics broached was future bowl agreements.

Under the new four-team playoff model which goes into effect in 2014, there will be three contract bowls – Rose, Sugar and Orange – and three host bowl games. The champions of the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference will play in the Sugar if they are not part of the playoff.

The three host bowls have yet to be determined, but reportedly could include Cotton, Chick-fil-A and Fiesta. The two national semifinal games would be rotated amongst those six games.

Once those games are filled, the remaining eligible teams would be funneled into the remaining bowl games.

Many of the current bowl agreements are set to expire after 2013 so league’s like the Big 12 are ramping up its discussions with bowl sites including some that aren’t currently on their bowl menu.

“Once we know host bowls, we will be anxious to put additional bowl agreements together,” Bowlsby said Tuesday. “This was a way to identify priorities.”

Those priorities could include playing a bowl game in the state of Florida.

“We’ve spoken with three bowls in Florida and would like to have at least one there,” Bowlsby added indicating that the group has already spoken with officials from the Gator Bowl and two other sites.

The state of Florida currently hosts six bowl games: Beef ‘O’ Brady’s, Gator, Outback, Russell Athletic, Capital One and Orange Bowl, however none of those game currently feature a tie-in with the Big 12.

The league’s current bowl tie-ins include the Cotton, Holiday, Insight, Meineke, New Era, Ticket City and Alamo bowls.

It makes sense to me that Bowlsby and league officials would be interested in a bowl game in Florida. The conference has no direct ties to the state and member schools are always looking to develop pipelines into a talent-rich Sunshine State. What better way to do that than by playing in front of recruits in their home states. It’s quite the selling point.

According to Bowlsby, the decision will be based on several factors.

“Destination is important. Fan experience is important and student-athlete experience is important,” he said.

Nothing screams out great destination and fan experience like Orlando.

The Capital One Bowl features some of the top teams from the SEC and Big Ten which makes it unlikely that it would be a candidate. The Russell Athletic Bowl, however, features a matchup between the ACC and Big East with Notre Dame as a throw-in every four years. That could be a possible candidate.

The Outback and Gator bowls also have connections with the SEC and Big Ten however the Outback falls right behind the Capital One in the pecking order with the Gator Bowl right behind.

mmurschel@tribune.com

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