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Bowl talk lead storyline at quiet Big Ten meetings
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Bowl talk lead storyline at quiet Big Ten meetings

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Jim Delany

You'll see no rip-roaring headlines associated with this year's Big Ten spring meetings, it seems.

While league commissioner Jim Delany wasn't ready to declare expansion dead — “Dead is a strong word,” he told reporters Wednesday — he also said the conference is currently inactive in the expansion game as it attempts to get Maryland and Rutgers settled into a 14-team league.

And, so, the main topic? Bowl fatigue, it seems.

More precisely: Not sending teams on repeat trips to bowl sites.

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It’s something Husker fans know all about. Nebraska made consecutive trips to the Holiday Bowl, then the Capital One Bowl the past four years. Only the last two occurred under the Big Ten's watch, of course.

But Wisconsin knows about making repeat trips, too.

Prior to its recent Rose Bowl experiences, the Badgers played bowl games in Florida six consecutive years. Four of those games were in Orlando, with two appearances in the Capital One Bowl and two in the Champs Sports Bowl.

Going forward, Delany said it’s important to have a bowl lineup that gives the league “a national slate” that creates a fresh feel for fans that can drive better attendance and TV ratings.

"Obviously, you can go to the Rose Bowl as many times as you want," Delany said, according to ESPN.com. "But other than that, we want to get different bowls, different teams into different environments as much as we can and still give them some control over the quality of team they're getting."

To keep things fresh, any Big Ten bowl partner other than the Rose Bowl will have to pick five different league teams during the next six-year agreement that runs from 2014-19.

Besides the Rose Bowl, and an agreement that will put a Big Ten team in the Orange Bowl at least three times in the next 12 years, Delany told reporters the league is expected to have agreements with at least six other bowls.

While the Capital One and Outback bowls still figure in the league’s future, the Cedar Rapids (Iowa) Gazette reported Tuesday that the Holiday Bowl — which was tied in with the Big 12 when Nebraska was in the league — is expected to join forces with the Big Ten.

ESPN.com's Big Ten writers report the Holiday Bowl would likely be third in the pecking order behind the Capital One and Outback bowls.

The website also reported that the league has agreed to a six-year deal with the ACC for the Music City Bowl (Nashville), which could switch with the Gator Bowl in hosting a Big Ten team every other year.

As for a bowl that might be out? The Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (formerly the Insight Bowl) is not expected to be part of the Big Ten’s new bowl agreement, according to ESPN.

But some Big Ten teams might have trips to Yankee Stadium in their future. According to reports, the Pinstripe Bowl is another potential partner with the league.

Reach Brian Christopherson at bchristopherson@journalstar.com or 402-473-7439. You can follow him on Twitter @HuskerExtraBC.

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