Cotton Bowl

Cotton Bowl Could Be Co-Favorite To Host New Champions Bowl, But All’s Not Lost If It Loses

By SportsDayDFW sports

By the close of business Wednesday, the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic will have submitted its proposal to host the new Champions Bowl.

Then the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 will sort through the bids.

The decision most likely will come down to a handful of the 10 cities that sent requests for proposals (RFP’s, as they’re known). Expect Atlanta, New Orleans, Houston and most likely San Antonio to join Arlington in the process, according to multiple industry sources.

A site selection is likely by Oct. 1 and possibly as early as mid-September, sources indicated.

The Cotton Bowl is playing to win, and probably ranks as a co-favorite with New Orleans, based on criteria such as ease of travel, fan experience, modern stadium facilities, hosting big events — and the ever-present bottom line.

At the same time, the Champions Bowl (matching the SEC and Big 12 champs) represents just the first chance to be a part of the new four-team playoff coming after the 2014 season. It’s definitely not the Cotton Bowl’s only chance.

If, say, New Orleans lands the Champions bid, that leaves three “access” bowls — with the Rose and FedEx Orange already part of the six-bowl rotation. The ability to host national semifinals will still be present.

The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl almost certainly will get one “access” spot. That leaves two, and it isn’t much of a leap to see the Cotton Bowl and Atlanta’s Chik-fil-A Bowl being the other two in that scenario.