posted on Wednesday, October 7, 2009 at 2:57 PM
Florida Citrus Sports CEO Steve Hogan and Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford have announced a partnership agreement for the 2010-13 Champs Sports Bowls. The agreement with the ACC will bring Orlando the second pick after the Bowl Championship Series selection (i.e. the conference's third overall pick) to play against the top non-BCS team from the BIG EAST Conference or Notre Dame.
"Our relationship with the Champs Sports Bowl has been absolutely terrific over the years and we are extremely excited about extending our partnership for another four years," said ACC Commissioner John Swofford. "Orlando is a great destination and the hospitality that has been extended to our student-athletes and fans has left very positive and memorable impressions."
The agreement with the ACC continues the dramatic upward trend of the bowl since relocating to Orlando. In addition to the ACC-BIG EAST matchup mentioned previously, the bowl also has the opportunity to select Notre Dame once in the four-year cycle. The changes - which will begin in 2010 - mean Orlando will now enjoy a first, and a second non-BCS selection from the ACC and BIG EAST, respectively. In its current cycle, the Champs Sports Bowl selects the ACC's fourth pick and the Big Ten's fourth or fifth pick, based on the year.
"Our vision for Orlando's college football postseason includes two of the best bowl games in the country hosted within one week, featuring four top ranked teams with excited fan bases, reaching one of the largest collective television audiences of the entire season." said FCSports CEO Steve Hogan. "The ACC is a strong partner and this agreement is a major step towards realizing that vision."
As in the past, the game will continue to be televised by ESPN and will be played in the December 28-30 window, with the possibility of a December 27 date once in the agreement's four-year term.
"On behalf of Champs Sports, we are pleased to be able to continue our partnership with the ACC and elevate its positioning within the Champs Sports Bowl to the third seed beginning in 2010," said Rob Brodersen, Vice President of Marketing for Champs Sports.
The Champs Sports Bowl has historically featured some of college football's best players and teams and, since moving to Orlando in 2000, attendance and television ratings have reflected that fact. Last year's attendance (52,692) for the Florida State-Wisconsin game was the second-highest in the bowl's history, with crowds having improved each year since coming from South Florida. The television rating for last year's game was also the second-highest for a bowl game in ESPN history and trailed only the Capital One Bowl in ratings for non-BCS postseason games last year.
"The Champs Sports Bowl has enjoyed a meteoric rise to the top of the postseason bowl landscape and this matchup will reward two very talented, deserving teams for an excellent season," said FCSports President Chuck Beverly. "None of this would be possible without the support of thousands of Florida Citrus Sports members and one of the best title sponsors in the business."
Since becoming the Champs Sports Bowl in 2004, the ACC has seen great success, winning all five matchups (FSU d. Wisconsin (2008); Boston College d. Michigan State (2007); Maryland d. Purdue (2006); Clemson d. Colorado (2005); and Georgia Tech d. Syracuse (2004).