Big Ten to face ACC in new Detroit Lions bowl starting in 2014

Leon Halip

It is official: Starting in 2014, the Big Ten Conference squares off against the Atlantic Coast Conference in a to-be-named bowl game at Ford Field in Detroit.

Mark your calendars, Detroit area residents, because big boy football is coming to town in 2014.

According to the Detroit Lions, the team agreed to a six-year bowl game deal with the Atlantic Coast Conference on Wednesday. Last month, the team announced a similar deal with the Big Ten Conference. The game will be held at Ford Field, the venue the Lions call home.

"We are excited to finalize our conference partnerships for this new bowl game in Detroit," wrote Lions president Tom Lewand in a statement. "Having representatives from two elite conferences like the ACC and Big Ten provide fans with an exciting college football postseason matchup for years to come."

This latest agreement is part of Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney’s plan to give fans just what they want: interesting games between interesting teams at interesting sites.

Alongside the Detroit Lions bowl game, which is yet to be named, the conference also has agreements in place to face the Pac-12 in the Holiday Bowl and the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl starting in 2014 in California.

Add to that an agreement with the Pinstripe Bowl in New York, the Armed Forces Bowl in Texas, and the Music City Bowl in Tennessee, the conference has given its fans several options to visit cool venues and see various types of opposing teams.

Not to mention the conference will use a tiered system when selecting bowl lineups. Using a tiered system ensures Big Ten teams avoid going to the same bowl game in consecutive years.

It is unknown what will become of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl, the bowl game played annually at Ford Field. However, there are rumors it could be moved to near by Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.

The future of college football looks bright, and as Delaney approaches retirement, no one can say his bowl game Swan song is off key.

Contact Brandon Folsom at bfolsom@mlive.com or on Twitter for additional information about college football, basketball, and recruiting.

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