I’m not exactly sure how I got to this point, but I’ve posted a few times on the intricacies of the bowl picks between the Gator Bowl and Insight. It started back in October when I found this nugget on a Gator Bowl press release:
The Gator Bowl will share, with the Insight Bowl, the third and fourth pick in the Big Ten Conference after the BCS.
The Gator Bowl and the Insight Bowl will each submit, to the Big Ten Conference, their team selection…Should each Bowl desire the same team, the selection order will be decided by the flip of a coin..
Then a reader showed me this story by Garry Smits on jacksonville.com which had a slightly different version of what was worked out, including a pre-emptive coin flip earlier this year:
The other bit of good news is that the Gator Bowl won a coin flip with the Insight Bowl in the Big Ten offices in Chicago (Catlett called heads). Therefore, the Gator Bowl will get the third Big Ten selection after the league champion goes to the Rose Bowl.
While I believed the story above (why would they make that up), I wondered why the glossy Gator Bowl press release was so specific about the relationship between the bowls and what prompted the change.
So Monday two bowl reps from the Gator Bowl were in town to formally deliver the bowl invitation to Michigan (side note: it would have been great if Brandon replied, “Can I get back to you on that?” That might have even mustered a chuckle from Rich Rod).
Anyway, I asked Gator Bowl chairman Steve Tremel about what happened, hoping to find out what changed between the printed press release and the Chicago coin flip. Here’s our dialogue:
MVictors: “I understand there was a coin flip in Chicago earlier this year between the Gator and Insight Bowls?”
Tremel: “Our contract stated that we shared the third and fourth pick after the BCS. We were very comfortable with seeing how things played out. The Insight Bowl wanted to establish which year that they would have the third or fourth pick.”
MVictors: “Because that wasn’t originally in the agreement, so they said, ‘Let’s figure this out now?’”
Tremel: “The coin flip would have come in play the first year we both wanted the same team. But since they wanted to have this, we in had a coin flip and we had the third pick this year.”
MVictors: “So do you have the fourth pick next year and will it now alternate?”
Tremel: “Yes, and it will alternate.”
So there you have it.