Fight Hunger Bowl pits Big Ten vs. Pac-12 in 2014

BY CODY GOODWIN | JUNE 25, 2013 5:00 AM

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The Big Ten and Pac-12 will face each other in the Bay Area’s annual postseason bowl game starting in 2014, according to a release from the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl.

The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl announced a six-year agreement on Monday that will establish a new partnership with the Big Ten and improve the bowl’s selection rights in the Pac-12. The agreement runs from 2014 through 2019.

The bowl will be played in the new Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara — the future home of the San Francisco 49ers and site of the Super Bowl in 2016. The facility seats 68,500.

“Our objective entering negotiations for the next bowl cycle was to elevate the game,” Bowl Executive Director Gary Cavalli said in the release. “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 versus Big Ten matchup and a new world-class stadium, we’ve positioned our game very well for the future.”

Terms in the new agreement with the Pac-12 give the bowl the No. 4 pick, within established parameters by the conference — which comes after the Rose Bowl/playoff group, Alamo, and Holiday Bowls —a jump from its current No. 6 pick.

The bowl will work with the Big Ten to arrange the best possible matchup for the Pac-12 and ensure that at least five different Big Ten teams visit the Bay Area during the six-year term.

“The opportunity for the Big Ten conference to play an annual bowl game in a world-class city like San Francisco, in a state-of-the-art, new NFL stadium, and in an area rich in football tradition appealed to our Directors of Athletics and head coaches,” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said in the release.

Though the game venue will move to Santa Clara next year, the team headquarters, hotels and most bowl-week activities will remain in San Francisco.

“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,” said Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott. “Having the opportunity to showcase the two conference with a quality matchup in the San Francisco 49ers’ new state-of-the-art stadium is a win-win for our teams and fans.”

The Big Ten is unbeaten in the Kraft Hunger Bowl — Illinois defeated UCLA, 20-14, in December of 2011.

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