NEW YORK — The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference have agreed to a 12-year deal with ESPN for the rights to the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans.
A person familiar with the contract said it was worth about $80 million per year through 2026. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because terms of the agreement were not being made public and details were still pending.
The Big 12 and SEC recently picked the Sugar Bowl as the site of their new marquee game, starting in the 2014 season.
The champions of each conference will play in the game, unless those teams are selected for the four-team playoff that also starts that season. In that case, other highly ranked teams from the Big 12 and SEC will play in the game.
The Sugar Bowl will be one of six sites in the playoff rotation, along with the Rose Bowl, Orange Bowl and three more still to be announced. How often each bowl hosts a semifinal is still to be determined. ESPN’s deal with the Sugar Bowl calls for it to broadcast the game even in years it hosts playoffs.
ESPN earlier this year reached a similar 12-year deal, for about the same price, with the Pac-12 and Big Ten for the rights to the Rose Bowl. ESPN’s 12-year deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference, also announced earlier this year, is worth about $55 million per year. The Orange Bowl and ACC have been working on a deal that would lock up the other spot in the game for either a SEC team, a Big Ten team or Notre Dame.
The person said that deal should be announced soon.
ESPN also is working on a 12-year deal for the entire playoff package of 24 semifinals and 12 national championship games, along with the other three host bowls, that has been reported to be worth around $500 million per year.
Young bucks spark Mizzou
COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Tigers have their first SEC road victory in hand, thanks in no small part to some young and inexperienced players.
Safety Ian Simon made mistakes, but broke up a fourth-down pass attempt in the fourth overtime against Tennessee that gave the Tigers a shot at the win. Redshirt freshman kicker Andrew Baggett converted from 35 yards and the win was theirs.
Coach Gary Pinkel said the experience is invaluable for his young players. Missouri (5-5, 2-5 SEC) is one win from extending its bowl streak to eight seasons. The Tigers host Syracuse (5-5, 4-2 Big East) on Saturday.
Another mark for Spurrier?
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier will likely match Paul “Bear” Bryant this weekend for most wins at two different schools.
A victory against Wofford on Saturday will tie Spurrier with Rex Enright for the most wins by a Gamecocks coach with 64. Spurrier remains the winningest coach in Florida history with 122 victories. Bryant holds the records for most wins at Alabama (232) and at Kentucky (60).
Bryant and Spurrier rank 1-2 in several categories in the SEC record book.
Spurrier is second with 122 SEC victories, 37 behind Bryant. His six SEC titles are eight behind Bryant.
Spurrier said he hasn’t thought about the record and will leave comparisons between him and Bryant to others.