Three new bowl games could debut after the 2020 season after the NCAA's football oversight committee this week determined the number of bowl tie-ins for each FBS conference.
Using bowl eligibility data from the past four seasons, the oversight committee approved "the appropriate number" of bowl contracts for every league, as well as for independents Army West Point and BYU.
The SEC and Pac-12 are among the leagues adding to their tie-in agreements for the next cycle, which will begin after the 2020 regular season and goes through the 2025-26 bowl season.
The SEC and ACC will have the most agreements with 11 each, followed by the Big Ten (9), Pac-12 (8), Big 12 (7), American Athletic Conference (7) and Conference USA (7). The Mountain West and Mid-American Conference each will have six contracted bowl agreements, while the Sun Belt will have five.
Bowls begin the certifying process July 1, and new agreements with leagues are expected to be announced by the end of the summer.
The total number of approved tie-ins is 79, but because the New Year's Six bowls include tie-in spots for only six of 12 participants -- both Rose Bowl teams, both Sugar Bowl teams and one Orange Bowl team -- there are six other slots to be filled, which opens up three more games for eligible teams. This would increase the total number of bowls from 40 to 43.
Sources said possible bowl additions include a game in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and at Wrigley Field in Chicago. It's also possible some bowls may shut down, reducing the overall number. New bowls must have agreements with two FBS leagues, or BYU or Army, to become certified for the next cycle.
Brett McMurphy reported that the Chicago game would feature teams from the Big Ten and ACC, and that the Big Ten would end its contract with the San Francisco Bowl after the 2019 game.
The football oversight committee maintained bowl eligibility criteria: teams must win at least six games (one win against a qualifying FCS opponent can count toward the total). If not enough six-win teams are available to fill bowl slots, five to seven teams with the highest multiyear Academic Progress Rate scores will be eligible for selection.
"We struck that balance, and we wanted to strengthen the bowls," Bob Bowlsby, the football oversight committee chair and Big 12 commissioner, said in a prepared statement. "We want to have better reporting to make sure bowl games are financially sound, and they are appropriately represented in terms of having them meet NCAA requirements, so they remain strong entities and serve the collegiate community."