So for the fans who were worried about the rivalries lost in Big 12 teams like Texas A&M and Missouri jumping over to the SEC, all hope is not lost. Not at all. In football, the conference champions from both leagues will play each other in a postseason bowl game, essentially another Rose Bowl, so long as they are not playing in the four-team playoff tournament to determine the national champion beginning in 2014.
That means no matter what, SEC and Big 12 supremacy will duke it out in some sort of postseason form whether it be for the national championship, or this new one they've just created. As SB Nation's Jason Kirk noted, this "creates a very clearly defined upper tier in college football, with everyone from the ACC on down all but walled off from the highest level."
If one or both of the conference champions are competing in the four-team playoff, there will be other "deserving team from the conference(s)" selected to play in the bowl game. The agreement is worth five years starting with the 2014 season.
"A new January bowl tradition is born," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "This new game will provide a great matchup between the two most successful conferences in the BCS era and will complement the exciting postseason atmosphere created by the new four-team model. Most importantly, it will provide our student-athletes, coaches and fans with an outstanding bowl experience."
"Our goal is to provide the fans across the country with a New Year's Day prime-time tradition," commented acting Big 12 Conference Commissioner Chuck Neinas. "This is a landmark agreement between two of the most successful football conferences during the BCS era to stage a postseason event. The creation of this game featuring the champions of the Big 12 and SEC will have tremendous resonance in college football."
Read more news and analysis on college football at the NCAA football hub page and Every Day Should Be Saturday.