On behalf of Florida Citrus Sports and its membership, President Chuck Beverly and CEO Steve Hogan have announced that an agreement has been reached with the Southeastern Conference for the Capital One Bowl, extending the current relationship through 2014. The agreement keeps the bowl’s current selection structure in place, with the New Year’s Day stalwart maintaining the slot which grants it the opportunity to select the top non-Bowl Championship Series pick from the league. Florida Citrus Sports officials had announced its extension with the Big Ten Conference in October.
“We are extremely honored to extend what has become a near 20-year tradition hosting the SEC’s top non-BCS team here in Orlando,” said Hogan. “The Southeastern Conference has built an impressive 76-year history of athletic and academic excellence and we are proud to be a small part of it.”
The Capital One Bowl’s history with the SEC began with Florida’s appearance in the 1973 game and a team from the conference has appeared 27 times in the game’s 64-year history. Eight of the conference’s 12 teams have participated in those 27 appearances.
“The Southeastern Conference is pleased to continue its relationship with the Capital One Bowl,” said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. “For the past 18 years, our institutions have enjoyed the opportunity to play on New Year’s Day while taking in activities at a world-class tourist destination. The Capital One Bowl is a fitting host for our top selection after the Bowl Championship Series selection process.”
The 2010 Capital One Bowl matchup between Penn State and LSU posted a 6.8 television rating, again tops among non-BCS games. It marks the third consecutive year the Capital One Bowl bested at least one Bowl Championship Series game in ratings, and it is the only non-BCS game to finish in the Top 5 in ratings in any of those three years, much less three straight. In addition to owning the highest non-BCS television average – 7.6 over the last 18 years — the Capital One Bowl will again post the highest total non-BCS payout at over $9.4 million.
The 2011 Capital One Bowl will be the 19th consecutive year for the matchup between the two tradition-rich conferences. Since the pairing began in 1993, the two conferences have split the 18 games right down the middle (9-9).
With the extension, Orlando bowls now own the top non-BCS picks in three of the six BCS conferences (SEC, Big Ten and BIG EAST). It also holds the rights to the number two non-BCS pick for the Atlantic Coast Conference and the first option of Notre Dame.