Detroit Lions to start new bowl pitting Big Ten vs. ACC in 2014

Submitted by translator82 on May 21st, 2013 at 10:40 AM

No idea what this will be called (Lions Bowl? Motor City Bowl Part Deux?), but the Pizza Bowl  is on the way out.

Detroit Lions expected to start new bowl in 2014, likely B1G vs. ACC, at Ford Field sources told @espn. Would eliminate Little Caesars Bowl

— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 21, 2013

Update: The Pizza Bowl folks don't seem like they will go quietly into that good bowl night just yet. They are looking at moving the game to Comerica Park.



May 21st, 2013 at 11:44 AM ^

he is more referring to the time of year.  True, there are many destinations in Detroit that can make for a fun trip regardless of the season, but you have to admit that Detroit in the dead of winter is not a dream come true getaway.  I do think a Detroit bowl with two BCS conference teams will do fairly well though.  The Pizza Bowl just typically had really really bad games lately and did nothing to help an already very marginal bowl.  But a Purdue/Illinois v. Georgia Tech/Virginia etc., I think that would draw well.  This is football crazy area.


May 21st, 2013 at 1:28 PM ^

draw well at all.  Are mid-tier ACC teams going to be energized to visit Detroit for a Bowl Game?  Are locals going to come watch a mid-tier ACC team?  Will attandance be any better than when Purdue played Central Michigan (60K fans) or Western Michigan (47K fans) in a Motor City Bowl?


If this gets off the ground, I think this becomes Cherry Bowl version 2.0.  The Cherry Bowl lasted 2 years in the mid-1980s --- it was successful in Year 1 with Michigan State, it was a disaster in Year 2 with Maryland and Syracuse.


Coincidentally, Maryland v. Syracuse would be a possible match-up for this new Bowl game.

French West Indian

May 21st, 2013 at 1:35 PM ^

I remember reading somewhere that the Pizza Bowl's attendence was much better when they could draw local teams the Chippewas or Broncos.  Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing the Wolverines play in the game (as unlikely as it is) because I think it'd be pretty cool in-a-once- in-a-lifetime-kind-of-way be able to see them play downtown in the D.  But I'd have zero interest in a Maryland / Syracuse matchup and I doubt it would draw well.


May 21st, 2013 at 2:17 PM ^

I think it would draw better.  Two BCS conferences would legitamize the game to a certain degree, and I think it could become a regional attraction.  It is not like there is a big bowl selection to draw from up here.  There would also be that year every few where some teams fell through the cracks and you could get a Staee v. Miami (YTM)/Wisconsin v. Clemson, etc.  I would go down to watch one of those.  True, Virginia v. Illinois would be somewhat of a shakier proposition, but it could work if they got a couple of semi-promising games at the outset.

Perkis-Size Me

May 21st, 2013 at 11:08 AM ^

Purdue, Staae: we're still trusting you to hold down the fort in Detroit for the foreseeable future. It just got a little tougher, but we're hoping its nothing you can't handle.


May 21st, 2013 at 11:12 AM ^

I would love to see this more often! I agree that the SEC has been great for the past few years but having de-facto home field advantage must surely have helped. The BIG is not as strong as it used to be and with the bowl tie-ins consistently matching us against higher ranked teams, it would be nice if we could get a couple more cold weather bowl games in to improve the conference bowl record (Chicago, New York state, Indy ...)


May 21st, 2013 at 11:19 AM ^

I think the Lions are petitioning the NCAA asking that the teams don't have to meet Bowl eligibility rules and they can have the two worse teams in college football play.


May 21st, 2013 at 1:08 PM ^

Honestly, joking aside, that really would be a game I would absolutely pay to see.  They could call it the Go Comedy! Improv Theater Bowl presented by the Detroit Lions.  Four quarters of laughs for the whole family.

Yinka Double Dare

May 21st, 2013 at 11:42 AM ^

The Lions Bowl will be played with nothing but receivers and defensive linemen, the team with the most stupid penalties gets bonus points, and the coaches are each given one free challenge on an unchallengeable play.  Oh, and whichever team has the most arrests on the season gets the ball to start both halves, while the other team gets the Marty Mornhinweg Memorial Wind Advantage in the dome.

Section 1

May 21st, 2013 at 12:08 PM ^

I can't believe that the NFL marketing and branding gurus allow that sort of freelancing.

Is this an initiative of the Ford family?  As opposed to "The Lions"?  Or some separate initiative by all the shareholders of the Detroit Lions Football Club, Inc.?  (Who else owns Lions stock, besides the Fords?)


May 21st, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

One thing which could make this move interesting is that part of the Big Ten's heavily revised approach to bowls is that the conference has rescinded the independent authority of the bowls to make independent selections, giving the conference a say in who goes where. They also plan to stipulate that non-BCS bowls select different teams (five different teams in a six year period was the proposal, I believe). If that goes into effect, the matchup for the No Longer Little Caesars Bowl could at least occasionally be intriguing. 


May 21st, 2013 at 12:49 PM ^

none of the bowl match ups will be outside of the "Power 5" (or whatever they call it nowadays) conferences unless the opposing side runs out of eligible teams?

I like it.

French West Indian

May 21st, 2013 at 1:29 PM ^

...the writing on the wall.  Once college players start getting paid, then there'll be no way a floundering NFL team like the Lions can compete with a local powerhouse like the Wolverines for talent and fans.  This is the first step to hedging their bets.

Might be a savvy move in a sporting world of imminent paradigmatic shifts.  Or more likely, it's some typical grade A, Ford folly.

the Glove

May 21st, 2013 at 2:07 PM ^

I would like to see the bowl at Ford Field become larger than the chick-fil-a bowl and replace it as a semi-final game. This would allow the northern schools to finally not have to travel across the country to play in the bowl game at least one of the rotating years. One could dream.