Manhattan --- One of the benefits of an hour and a half lightning delay, you get a chance to talk football with people who love the sport. I just had the pleasure of sitting down next to Norman Dugas, a representative of the Alamo Bowl (the only bowl represented in at K-State on Saturday). The Alamo Bowl will be played on Dec. 29th at 8pm in San Antonio, TX. Traditionally, the game has been between the Big 12 and Big 10, but starting last year, the Pac 12 took the Big 10's tie in.
Here are some quotes and observations from the conversation:
Dugas told me that the #1 goal for the Alamo Bowl is to get the "best game possible." No matter how much a team will travel, the attendance for the game will be over 1/2 local (fans from the San Antonio area), and a good match-up is easier to sell.
Various factors involved in picking a team: state/local connections, travel reputation and the teams' finish.
They would rather have a team "win it's way up" than "fall to us."
That being said, here are the candidates for the Alamo Bowl: Kansas State, the loser of bedlam (Oklahoma State vs Oklahoma) and the winner of Texas vs Baylor. Dugas said any of those 3 would be a good choice.
Choices from the Pac 12 include Washington, Cal, and Utah. All 3 are 7-5, Washington beat both Cal and Utah in the head-to-head and has a better conference record.
It's important to have a good "product to sell." He mentioned Kansas State this year as an easy sell. Bill Snyder turning a team with no expectations into a potential top 10 team.
According to the Alamo Bowl, Kansas State is the 2nd best in terms of traveling fans in the Big 12, and has a better bowl following than many "national reputation" programs (such as Ohio State and Michigan).
In Dugas' words; the best 3 schools in terms of traveling fans to the Alamo Bowl: Iowa, Oklahoma State and Kansas State.
He also added that it's important for the bowl to "manage expectations." He gave an example of the disappointment K-State fans felt back in 1998 after falling to Texas A&M in the Big 12 title game. The Cats weren't happy being in the Alamo Bowl, but the game vs Purdue (and Drew Brees) in which the Boilermakers won 37-34 was one of their best ever. Dugas said that the Alamo Bowl could have passed up K-State that year if they'd wanted to.
Rather than using the term "partners," Dugas prefers to call the conferences the "content suppliers."
Mr. Dugas made it clear to me that the above quotes are his opinion and not necessarily those of the Alamo Bowl ("no matter how right" [or wrong] "they were").
The Big 12 will get one automatic BCS bid and could get an at large this year. After the BCS, the Cotton Bowl gets its choice of the remaining Big 12 field, then the Alamo Bowl gets its choice. The Alamo Bowl has the 1st choice of teams from the Pac 12, following the BCS of course.