Gator Bowl announces unique conference matchups

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Gator Bowl announced Thursday that an agreement has been reached with the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl to share selections for one of its participating teams with the Big Ten Conference and the Atlantic Coast Conference, which includes the University of Notre Dame, for a term of six years following the 2014 college football regular season.

The unique partnership with these conferences signifies the bowl's efforts to offer flexibility in the team selection process, bowl officials said.

Previously, the Gator Bowl had an agreement with the Big Ten and the Music City Bowl had an agreement with the ACC. The partnership allows the conference teams the flexibility to participate in both bowl games three times each in a six-year period.

The two bowls will join the College Football Playoff bowls as two of very few major postseason games with multiple conference affiliations.

The bowls are still working on their relationship with a conference to provide an opponent for the ACC and Big Ten.

"This is an exciting partnership we have forged with our friends from the Music City Bowl to create the very best match-ups possible for the schools fans and our local communities," said Rick Catlett, president and CEO of the Gator Bowl.

The 69th Annual Gator Bowl game will be played at EverBank Field in Jacksonville on Jan. 1. The game will kickoff at noon and will be televised nationally on ESPN2.

The Gator Bowl will pair the fifth selection after the BCS from the Southeastern Conference and the fourth selection after the BCS from the Big Ten.

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