Big East sources in Newport, R.I., told ESPN on Monday that the league wants to establish a new bowl game for its football champion.
No details have been hammered out, but the idea has merit for the league, which apparently is being shut out of its recent berth in the Orange Bowl after that bowl signed an agreement with the Atlantic Coast Conference, not only to play host to the ACC champion when it doesn't make the new four-team playoff, but to let the ACC negotiate the media rights deal for the bowl.
That likely would leave the Big East champ in limbo in two years when the new football postseason kicks off.
Establishing a new bowl -- which the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference did two months ago in the "Champions Bowl," -- would seem to make more sense than working out an agreement with an existing event.
Starting a new bowl would allow the Big East and its new media partner to make a share of revenue for the game, control its location (perhaps New York City) and market the game with its own identity in the postseason landscape.
It's an idea that makes sense.
At the very least, the Big East ought to be able to get Notre Dame involved in a limited partnership. As for other opponent, that could be tricky.
There might be incentive for other leagues not to cooperate with yet another conference looking to establish a postseason foothold. But if the payout is high enough -- and to give the bowl any credibility, it would seem to have to be in at least the current BCS payout range -- luring a team from one of the power leagues should be possible.
Granted the Big East champ could wind up playing the third- or fourth-place team from another league. But the Big East also could automatically extend an invitation to the highest-ranked team not a part of the playoff or other preferred bowls and put together a payoff high enough to make it a good deal for one of those other conferences.
At the very least, it's the kind of move that Big East leadership needs to be making. It's a step toward carving out an altered identity, and if marketed well, could be a better setup than the Big East would get otherwise.