When the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl moves to Levi's Stadium in 2014, it'll have a rosy feel.
The Bowl announced Monday it has signed a six-year agreement that will pit the Pac-12 and Big Ten conferences against each other from from 2014 to 2019 in Santa Clara at the new home of the San Francisco 49ers. The conferences have long been linked as traditional opponents in the Rose Bowl.
“We are delighted to continue the Pac-12’s relationship with the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl and thrilled to build on our postseason partnership with the Big Ten Conference in the Bay Area,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “Having the opportunity to showcase the two conferences with a quality matchup in the San Francisco 49ers new state-of-the-art stadium is a win-win for our teams and fans.”
AT&T Park has been the bowl's venue since it was formed in 2002 and the Pac-12 has been affiliated with the game since 2006 having a representative each year since, except 2010. This year, the conference's No. 6 team is slated to play against BYU, pending the Cougars' bowl eligibility, on Dec. 27.
The move to Levi's Stadium and pairing with the Big Ten also allowed for a two-spot elevation in the bowl's Pac-12 priority order. Under the renewal with the Pac-12, the conference will send its No. 4 pick following the Rose/BCS, Alamo and Holiday Bowls. At least five different Big Ten teams will appear during the six-year agreement.
“Our objective entering negotiations for the next bowl cycle was to elevate the game,” bowl executive director Gary Cavalli said. “Specifically, we wanted to move up in the Pac-12 and secure the highest quality opponent possible. We’re thrilled that we’ve been able to achieve both goals. With a Pac-12 vs. Big Ten matchup and a new world-class stadium, we’ve positioned our game very well for the future.”
Team headquarters and bowl-week festivities will remain in San Francisco.
The rivalry between the conferences in college football dates back to 1902 when Michigan beat Stanford in the first Rose Bowl in Pasadena.