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Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
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MichaelSavage Offline
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Post: #1
Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
http://www.wvgazette.com/Sports/WVU/200901290945

Big East pressing issue with Gator

By Mitch Vingle
Sports Editor
THERE'S PLENTY of bowl talk in Florida this week.

Most of it surrounds some team called the Stillers. Playing some Cardinals or Rams team from St. Louis or Arizona. (They all seem to have Kurt Warner at quarterback.)

But even when that game ends around 10:30 p.m. Sunday, know the bowl talk will continue in the Sunshine State. At least if you head northeast of Tampa.

In a few weeks, bowl talks in Jacksonville will involve the Big East, which includes West Virginia University. They will include Gator Bowl president Rick Catlett. And they may go a long way toward determining the Big East's future bowl picture.

In case you're unaware, the Big East currently has a convoluted bowl lineup with more components than Samsung. Different countries, different conferences, Notre Dame ... Shoot, even the Sun Belt found a place within the setup last season.

Nothing, however, has been as hard to follow as the league's setup with the Gator, once the definitive destination for the football runner-up. Of late, the conference and bowl have been knotted with the Sun Bowl, Notre Dame, Big 12, ACC and Pac-10. (I won't go into the specifics in order to leave room within our section for other stories.)

Soon, though, serious negotiations will begin between conferences and bowls.

And in the case of outgoing Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese, very soon, according to Catlett.

"Michael has talked to us,'' Catlett said. "He's sent us a letter asking that we meet sooner rather than later.''

If you regularly read this column, you know Tranghese is determined to strengthen the Big East's bowl setup before he leaves office. His task wasn't helped this past season with Cincinnati in the BCS slot, Pitt laying an egg in the Sun and West Virginia - possessing marquee QB Pat White - tumbling to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

But Tranghese is still taking a stand. Sun Bowl executive Bernie Olivas told reporters in El Paso the Big East no longer wants to be an "either/or'' candidate with the Big 12. And Catlett affirmed that Thursday.

"Michael has said he doesn't want a hybrid deal,'' said the Gator president. "I think, though, it would have been hard to negotiate anyway after what happened to the Sun in regard to Notre Dame.''

What happened is the Sun was close to landing coveted Notre Dame, a Big East bowl partner, but couldn't because of NCAA rules, which barred the bowl from taking the 6-6 Fighting Irish over a seven-win Big East team.

So perhaps toss that on the scrap heap. The question is, where does that leave the Gator and the Big East? Is that dead as well?

"Our chairman just appointed a five-man committee," Catlett said. "We have to negotiate TV, title sponsor and conference affiliation issues.

"That's normally done in the spring to summer.''

Tranghese, however, is on the move.

"He's asked for a meeting and we'll do it soon," Catlett said. "We haven't talked to any other conferences. But we'll meet in the next three to four weeks. He told me before he steps away he'd like to have the bowl alignment in place.''

The Gator executives, however, are in no hurry.

"We're going to talk to everybody,'' Catlett said. "I'd be shocked if my board moves forward on this until we settle the TV and sponsorship deals. How can you commit to paying out $2.5 million per team until those are settled?''

Catlett said he expects television negotiations with CBS to go smoothly. His game's title sponsorship, however, is another story. It's moved from Toyota to Konica Minolta to ...

"It's difficult to negotiate within this economy,'' Catlett said.

Indeed, good luck with that task.

Likewise, good luck to Tranghese in trying to re-establish the old setup with the Gator, a bowl with a fine tradition. From this vantage point, reuniting would be the best scenario for the Big East. The Gator was a very solid place for the runner-up.

One simply wonders, though, how interested the Gator committee is in the conference.

"When we meet with Michael,'' Catlett said, "we need to know the rules in regard to Notre Dame. Then we'll see what we feel comfortable with.''

Within the conversation, Catlett also brought up the coveted Southeastern Conference. He spoke of his love of flexibility.

So, yes, Catlett and Tranghese will meet. Yes, there's an outside shot the two sides could come to an agreement.

But, reading between the lines, the odds aren't exactly super.

Reach Mitch Vingle at 304-348-4827 or mitchvin...@wvgazette.com.
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2009 08:18 AM by MichaelSavage.)
01-30-2009 08:15 AM
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mlb Offline
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
So because WVU didn't go to the BCS or Gator Bowl last year the conference is hurting? I think this writer is full of crap.

If the Gator Bowl and the Big East don't come to an agreement it has nothing to do with Cincinnati, as UC has travelled well to bowl games recently (better than VT to the Orange Bowl, 10K+ to Birmingham). It will have to do with the fact that the Gator Bowl for some reason has been trying to leave the Big East behind for the past 5 years.

I wish the conference would get some balls and tell them to walk. Sure, the Big East may be hurt in the short term with some not so great bowl for the number 2 team (Charlotte?), but I think splitting with the Gator Bowl may be in the best interest since they don't care to have the Big East around anyway.
01-30-2009 08:41 AM
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WacoBearcat Away
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 08:41 AM)mlb Wrote:  So because WVU didn't go to the BCS or Gator Bowl last year the conference is hurting? I think this writer is full of crap.

If the Gator Bowl and the Big East don't come to an agreement it has nothing to do with Cincinnati, as UC has travelled well to bowl games recently (better than VT to the Orange Bowl, 10K+ to Birmingham). It will have to do with the fact that the Gator Bowl for some reason has been trying to leave the Big East behind for the past 5 years.

I wish the conference would get some balls and tell them to walk. Sure, the Big East may be hurt in the short term with some not so great bowl for the number 2 team (Charlotte?), but I think splitting with the Gator Bowl may be in the best interest since they don't care to have the Big East around anyway.

Definitely a cheap shot by this West Virginia homer toward UC. Hey pal, it also didn't help the Big East last year when West Virginia got beat by East Carolina and a bad Colorado team.
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2009 08:53 AM by WacoBearcat.)
01-30-2009 08:53 AM
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MichaelSavage Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
You don't have to be a WV homer to realize that they are the most coveted Big East team by any bowl.
01-30-2009 09:19 AM
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mlb Offline
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 09:19 AM)MichaelSavage Wrote:  You don't have to be a WV homer to realize that they are the most coveted Big East team by any bowl.

That isn't the point. The writer acts as if nobody else is of any interest to the bowls.
01-30-2009 09:22 AM
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WacoBearcat Away
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Post: #6
RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 09:19 AM)MichaelSavage Wrote:  You don't have to be a WV homer to realize that they are the most coveted Big East team by any bowl.

Then why attack the University of Cincinnati to make that point? Good Lord, I am tired of people attacking UC. All we did last year was win the Big East, and finish #12 in the BCS protecting the Big East's auto-bid.
01-30-2009 09:25 AM
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firmbizzle Offline
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 08:41 AM)mlb Wrote:  So because WVU didn't go to the BCS or Gator Bowl last year the conference is hurting? I think this writer is full of crap.

If the Gator Bowl and the Big East don't come to an agreement it has nothing to do with Cincinnati, as UC has travelled well to bowl games recently (better than VT to the Orange Bowl, 10K+ to Birmingham). It will have to do with the fact that the Gator Bowl for some reason has been trying to leave the Big East behind for the past 5 years.

I wish the conference would get some balls and tell them to walk. Sure, the Big East may be hurt in the short term with some not so great bowl for the number 2 team (Charlotte?), but I think splitting with the Gator Bowl may be in the best interest since they don't care to have the Big East around anyway.

In a word yes. Outside of ND and WVU no one in the conference travels that well. The teams maybe be good in the BE, but if the fan base isn't there to watch it will be hard to negotiate a good deal. I'm sure the Gator would love to leave it either/or or dump the BE for the SEC or Big 10/12.
01-30-2009 09:26 AM
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mlb Offline
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
Big 12 brought nobody when Texas Tech was in the game. Nebraska did alright, but I think you can credit that thanks to their lack of bowls in recent years. In terms of Nebraska standards, it was still a down year for them.

The Big 10 has too many bowls for its league now. They will have to drop something to add the Gator Bowl. The SEC already has 9 bowl deals in place, of which 6 or 7 pay more. Does the Gator want a 6th or 7th place SEC team?
(This post was last modified: 01-30-2009 09:51 AM by mlb.)
01-30-2009 09:51 AM
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 09:51 AM)mlb Wrote:  The Big 10 has too many bowls for its league now. They will have to drop something to add the Gator Bowl. The SEC already has 9 bowl deals in place, of which 6 or 7 pay more. Does the Gator want a 6th or 7th place SEC team?

For prestige, no, but for attendance and sponsorship i would have to think the answer would be yes.
01-30-2009 10:07 AM
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CollegeCard Offline
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RE: Big East pressing issue with Gator Bowl
(01-30-2009 09:26 AM)firmbizzle Wrote:  In a word yes. Outside of ND and WVU no one in the conference travels that well.

More quality spin from this UC poser. No one travels outside of ND and WVU? I guess that's why UofL took 25,000 to Jacksonville and 35,000 to Miami.
01-30-2009 10:41 AM
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