In other words, there must be something to it if the Big East is dissing it.
"Personally, I think the notion that two conferences agreeing to play each other in one bowl game is going to change intercollegiate athletics forever is a little bit preposterous, a little bit of an overreaction,'' said Nick Carparelli, the Big East's associate commissioner and the closest thing the league has to a guiding force these days. "But that's the business we're in. Football is so wildly popular, people like to talk about it. At the end of the day, I don't know where that game will be played. It could be played in the Cotton Bowl. They already play in the Cotton Bowl. How would that be different?''
Good point. In fact, it's one I made last week. But the Champions Bowl is more than just the Cotton Bowl for a couple of really important reasons. I like the fact that it is two of the most powerful conferences in the country taking control of at least a part of the bowl system. But there's more to it than that.
I got a call last week shortly after writing about the Champions Bowl from someone close to the deal. What the two league see as the most important message being sent is not to the bowl system, but to the BCS, specifically those charged with ironing out the details of the proposed four-team playoff that's only a few years down the road.
"Every time anyone went into a room to talk about how this thing is going to work, they'd throw out this idea and that idea and all kinds of good points,'' the source said. "And every time we'd get to a point where someone would say, 'Yeah, well, what about the Rose Bowl?'"
The Rose has always been a sticking point in putting together any sort of playoff because it's the only major bowl where two powerful leagues are bound. The Rose has always maintained that it wants to preserve its Big Ten- Pac 12 matchup at almost all costs.
"It's just infuriating,'' our source said. "Here are these two conferences that everybody has to work around because they have a game they want to preserve. Well, guess what? Now we have one, too. The next time the discussion comes to that point and someone says, 'Yeah, but what about the Rose Bowl?' we have one of those, too.''
It's not a stretch, even, to think that there could be many a season in which the Rose Bowl and the Champions Bowl pit the top four teams in the country, the champions of what are without question the four best football leagues going. They could be semifinals in a four-team playoff.
Yes, if I were in the Big East or even the ACC I'd be downplaying it, too. But I'd also be very worried.
Just like Florida State and Clemson and, yes, even Notre Dame.
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com or follow him at Twitter.com/dphickman1.