The SEC announced that it is renewing its bowl tie in with the BBVA Compass Bowl, and ESPN is reporting that the SEC entrant will play a team from the American Athletic Conference in Birmingham for the next six seasons. BBVA Compass Bowl will be one of ten bowl tie-ins for the SEC.
This makes two more-or-less confirmed bids for the American, along with the Military Bowl in Annapolis. The conference has yet to announce its full bowl schedule, which they are probably still working on. ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Mountain West have announced their schedules.
The ACC is the alternate if the SEC or American cannot provide a team for the BBVA Bowl. The ACC has a minimum of nine tie-ins, and sometimes ten tie-ins depending on the season.
There are mixed reports as to whether the BBVA will be the ninth or tenth selection for the SEC. If the BBVA is tenth, and the SEC has more than two teams in the six premier bowls ( two Playoff and four Access bowls), the American Athletic would play a team from another conference. The same would happen if BBVA is ninth and the SEC has three or more teams in the premier bowls.
If the SEC or ACC can't fill that spot, perhaps a C-USA opponent would come in, as when USF played East Carolina in 2006, when the bowl as called the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
On the plus side for the American, it has secured two bowl tie-ins Power 5 conferences, with the SEC in the BBVA Compass Bowl, and with the ACC in the Military Bowl. That puts the American ahead of the Mountain West and Conference USA, which each only have one bowl bid versus a Power 5 conference.
On the other hand, Mountain West's tie-in is in the Las Vegas Bowl, and C-USA's tie-in is in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Those are two great destinations for fans in those conferences.
The American, meanwhile, has bids in the two snore-worthy locales of Birmingham and Annapolis. And neither has a modern or recently-renovated stadium or one in the pipeline (although the Military Bowl could totally be held at Nationals Park in DC. Which would be awesome. Make it happen, Mr. President.)