Orange Bowl keeps an eye on changing college football landscape

by - Senior Writer -

One of the key phrases floating around the college football world is ‘the changing college football landscape.’

You can bet that the major college football bowls are watching that changing landscape with a wary interest.

One of the interested parties is the Discover Orange Bowl, a BCS Bowl that has tie-ins with the Atlantic Coast Conference. Larry Wahl, the Vice President of Communications for the Orange Bowl, told TigerNet this week that the Orange Bowl understands what is at stake, especially if teams like Florida St. or Clemson were to leave the ACC.

“Right now, we are obviously following everything very closely,” Wahl said. “Primarily, we have been following the talk of realignment and the talk about the BCS and the four team playoff. Obviously, because we have a vested interest, we are keeping a close watch on everything going on in college football.”

He did say that he won't deal in any type of hypotheticals, including Clemson and FSU leaving the ACC.

“Again, it’s not something that we are not necessarily going to concentrate on,” he said. “We are just trying to see what happens over the next few months. Obviously, college football is changing rapidly right now. We are not going to deal in any kind of speculation, but we are keeping an eye on it.”

The Orange Bowl has a long and storied tradition, but has seen attendance fall off in recent years, and Wahl said the bowl committee wants to make sure the Orange Bowl remains front-and-center in college football’s postseason picture.

“For us, it is our stark desire to remain at the forefront of postseason college football and remain a relevant part,” he said. “That is the most important thing for us right now, with everything going on. That is the most important thing – to remain relevant. The economy has been a factor for us, and the days of the week and the dates have been factors. If those kinds of things can get resolved, then everybody will be in better shape.”

Clemson played West Virginia on January 4th in 2012, a weekday that was three days after New Year’s Day, and Wahl said the bowl game has no say in the dates.

“That is primarily a function of what is best for television,” he said. “You also want to improve matchups, and you don’t want a situation where you have a Virginia Tech come to the Orange Bowl two out of three years, or where the Fiesta Bowl has Oklahoma three out of five years. That is not healthy for the fan bases or the bowls. You want to ensure movement and that you are able to get great brands and matchups as well as the day of the week.”

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