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There goes the Sun: bowl picks ACC over Big East

Posted Aug 19, 2009 by Brett McMurphy

Updated Aug 19, 2009 at 11:56 AM

The Sun Bowl football selection committee voted unanimously today to go with the Atlantic Coast Conference over the Big East Conference for the next bowl cycle from 2010-13, Sun Bowl committee chairman John Folmer told The Tampa Tribune this morning.

The Sun Bowl will get the fifth selection from the ACC and will play the fourth selection from the Pac-10. The Big East had offered its third selection or Notre Dame when available, but Folmer said his committee thought the ACC offered more.

“At the end of the day it was based on what overall we thought is best for the people of El Paso,” Folmer said. “We haven’t seen the ACC in so long, we think it will be good.

“It was a hard decision – 10 times harder than last time. We’ve made so many good friends in the Big East. They did everything in their power to make it happen and I think the ACC did also. It was just the matter of how our people felt at the end of the day and we wanted to go in a different direction.”

Folmer said if it went with the Big East, the Sun Bowl would have been allowed to select Notre Dame once in the four-year span, but having to pick behind the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando realistically would have only made the Irish available once in three years – if the Irish qualify for a BCS bowl.

“You can’t make your decision on whether you can or can’t get Notre Dame,” Folmer said. “During that four-year period we have a bigger menu to chose from with the ACC and get someone out here we haven’t seen in a while. We have a new menu to pick from.”

Folmer said the Sun Bowl would be guaranteed of the fifth-selection from the ACC and/or the loser of the ACC Championship game. The Sun Bowl committee voted 10-0 to go with the ACC after meeting with its television partner, CBS.

Losing the Sun Bowl, which had a hybrid deal with the Gator Bowl and the Big East for the past three years, is a big blow to the Big East’s bowl lineup.

It’s unknown if the Big East will simply renew the bowls they had during the 2006-09 cycle: Meineke Car Care,, St. Petersburg and International to complete their 2010-13 lineup or seek other bowls such as Eagle Bank, Emerald or Independence.

On Tuesday, the Big East announced a new deal in which the Champs Sports Bowl would get its second selection from 2010-13.