Joe Christensen covered Major League Baseball for 15 years, including three seasons at the Baltimore Sun and eight at the Star Tribune, before switching to the college football beat. He’s a Faribault, Minn., native who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1996. He covered Jim Wacker’s Gophers for the Minnesota Daily and also wrote about USC, UCLA and the Rose Bowl for the Riverside Press-Enterprise before getting this chance to cover football again.

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Studying the Big Ten's approach to college football's new bowl picture

Posted by: Joe Christensen under College football, Bowl games, NCAA Updated: January 11, 2013 - 11:22 AM

If the Gophers can remain bowl eligible in coming seasons, potential new destinations could include New York for the Pinstripe Bowl, San Diego for the Holiday Bowl and San Francisco for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

This piece from Stewart Mandel on SI.com taught me a lot about how the bowl system could change after next season, when the BCS contract expires, along with all the other contracts for bowls.

TV ratings have been solid, even for lower-tier bowls, but attendance is sagging. The most glaring example was the Sugar Bowl between then-No. 3 Florida and Louisville, which drew 54,178, the event’s lowest attendance since 1939.

Some bowls become more intriguing than expected and become a hot ticket (see the Cotton Bowl matchup between Oklahoma and Texas A&M). Other bowls linger as consolation prizes for disappointed fan bases, leaving schools way overmatched trying to fill ticket allotments.

As Mandel writes, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany “wants the conference bowl lineup to become ‘more national’ than its current glut of Florida games; he wants to keep fans from becoming fatigued by repeat trips to the same destination." So Delany believes it's time to get more creative.

The Big Ten is expected to sign on with the Pinstripe Bowl, as it looks to strengthen its eastern footprint after adding Rutgers and Maryland. And a source tells Mandel that over a six-year term, the Big Ten and Big 12 could share spots in the Holiday Bowl and Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, with each conference taking three trips over the six years.

I’m not sure where those bowls would rank in the Big Ten’s new pecking order, but it sounds like we could have an idea by this April.

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Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
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(10) Georgia Tech
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<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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