College Football Playoff? SEC teams? Valero Alamo Bowl CEO discusses future after realignment

Valero Alamo Bowl could have new conference affiliations with eyes on CFP

SAN ANTONIO – It’s been an offseason of major change in college football, and conference realignment will directly impact the Valero Alamo Bowl.

The Pac-12, a league with generations of history, will no longer exist in its current form after this season. The Valero Alamo Bowl’s current partnership features top teams from the Pac-12 and Big 12.

The Big 12 will look different next season as well. Texas and Oklahoma are leaving for the Southeastern Conference, and the league will add Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah.

The league had previously added BYU, Houston, Cincinnati and UCF to supplement the losses of UT and OU. Valero Alamo Bowl President and CEO Derrick Fox said they are monitoring the movement and feel the bowl game is in a good position moving forward.

“We’re speaking to all the conferences because it’s an ever-changing landscape. Right now, there are four teams in the Pac-12 going forward. They can’t have a conference of four teams. They will expand or go someplace else. We’ll see what happens from that perspective,” said Fox.

This year’s game is status quo, and Fox said they are expecting another successful pairing from the Pac-12 and Big 12. Last year’s game brought in an economic impact of around $50.3 million for the city. Fox added that the Valero Alamo Bowl will also look to get into the mix for the College Football Playoff or National Championship Game.

“We got a lot of excitement going on from that perspective this year. We’ve got a great history and tradition with the Valero Alamo Ball, and the people who support us every year have been fantastic,” said Fox. “That allows us to currently be right at the top bowl outside the CFP as we go forward. We want to be at least there, maybe higher if we can. We’re going to keep the lines of communication up. In 2026 and beyond, to be honest, we’ll have a chance to potentially be in the New Year Six bowl or potential future national championship host sites.”

The change in conference landscape also may allow the Valero Alamo Bowl to partner with new leagues in the future, including the SEC — which will soon feature regional schools UT, OU, Texas A&M and Arkansas — and potentially the Big Ten, which will add four West Coast schools. Oregon and Washington played recently in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The ACC is another league that has not had an affiliation with the game.

“There are two conferences we’ve never officially been involved with, the SEC, and obviously, there’s some members (Texas and OU) now joining them,” said Fox. “And the ACC. The one conference that kind of started realignment a number of years ago has not expanded yet, but when you look at the matchups we’ve had, we’re a destination city and have the best title sponsor in the business. It’s not a bad recruiting footprint as well. It’s a great situation to be in.”

The 31st Valero Alamo Bowl will officially be played on Thursday, December 28, 2023, at the Alamodome. It continues to be one of the highest-rated and attended games of the bowl circuit.

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About the Authors

RJ Marquez is the traffic anchor/reporter for KSAT’s Good Morning San Antonio. He also fills in as a news anchor and has covered stories from breaking news and Fiesta to Spurs championships and high school sports. RJ started at KSAT in 2010. He is proud to serve our viewers and be a part of the culture and community that makes San Antonio great.

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