The Big 12 Conference Joins Shreveport’s Independence Bowl
There have been a lot of questions about the conference tie-ins with Shreveport's Independence Bowl ever since "conference realignment" started a few years back. Big schools leaving some major conferences for others, smaller schools taking their places, and even independent schools filling some voids.
Which is how the Independence Bowl got to the point they're at today.
The BYU Cougars have an agreement in place with the Independence Bowl to participate in the 2023 and 2025 games, if they're bowl eligible. But during "conference realignment", BYU found themselves as members of the Big 12 Conference...which means they would now have to follow the bowl game commitments of the whole conference, not just their own deals.
So that sent the Indy Bowl looking for a partner to fill that void...which kind of brought them back to BYU in a way. BYU can still play in the 2023 and 2025 Independence Bowl games, if they are selected by the Big 12. Because the new Primary agreement for the 2023 and 2025 games are with the Big 12 Conference directly.
This change is only for 2023 and 2025, because the 2024 Primary agreement is with Army and the Pac 12.
So what does this mean for the 2023 Independence Bowl? It means a lot of Texas-based teams are now on the menu...including THE Texas team.
That means the teams eligible for the Indy Bowl from the Big 12 are Baylor, BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, West Virginia, and of course...Texas.
While it would be a sold draw for many of the Texas-based schools listed there, the obvious big dog is the Texas Longhorns. A program that may not have the most support from a fanbase if they're 6-6 in December, but a fanbase that can move the needle with even a small percentage.
In a release today, Radiance Technologies Independence Bowl Executive Director Missy Setters said:
"We are very excited to get the Big 12 Conference in our lineup for 2023 and 2025. The Big 12 was a staple in our game for a long time, and our footprints match tremendously. They are a conference of great teams, rich tradition and passionate fan bases, so we could not be happier to feature them once again.”
So in 2023, you can expect a matchup of Big 12 vs. Pac 12. In 2024 it will be Army (if eligible) vs. Pac 12. Then in 2025 its going to be Big 12 vs Conference USA.
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