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Bowlsby: Big 12 TV contracts signed soon, Champions Bowl bids received

By Bryan Fischer | Blogger

WACO, Texas -- On Baylor's campus for the first time since dancing was permitted at the small private school (1996), Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby told that the conference's new television agreements with ESPN and Fox were likely to be signed this week.

"I feel good about where we are right now," Bowlsby said. "We released the first three weeks of the schedule so we're sort of operating as if the contract is signed. There are no major pitfalls, we just have some things we need to put together -- dotted I's and crossed T's. I'm hopeful we'll get it done in the next few days."

UPDATE: ESPN's Brett McMurphy reports the deal will be announced Friday.

The deal was verbally agreed to in early May and is worth a combined $2.6 billion over 13-years. Projected to be worth $200 million annually to the league, it will run through 2025.

Also on deck for Bowlsby is sorting through various proposals to host the much anticipated Champions Bowl with the SEC. The two conferences sent out 11 request for proposals to various cities and received five back last week. Though he declined to confirm which cities submitted a bid, Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, Atlanta and New Orleans are believed to be the five based on public comments and various reports.

"I haven't spent a lot of time on that this week. I had three campus visits this week so that kept me busy," said Bowlsby. "Mike Slive has been on vacation so he and I haven't talked. We will do that this week. Our staffs have been working on it. I would guess that within a couple of weeks we'll have a plan put together in terms of where we're going with the sites.

"The TV is moving along well, we're making progress with that. I have every reason to think that will fall together in good shape. I'm guessing that before we get halfway done with the football season we'll have a good idea of how it's all going to fit together."

Bowlsby has been visiting various schools across the league the past few weeks since returning from the London Olympics as part of his duties with the U.S. Olympic Committee. He will eventually hit all 12 by the end of the month while circling around to a few others as part of various football games he'll check out this season.

The commissioner spent his first football Saturday close to home however, without one specific team to cheer on for the first time in 35 years at the conference headquarters in Irving, Texas.

"It was a great first week, 8-0 yesterday and we played mostly good football," he said with a smile.

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