Alamo and Independence Bowls Win if Pac-12 Adds SMU

SMU’s addition to the PAC-12 could make their tie-ins with the Alamo and Independence Bowls more beneficial for both parties in the long run.

The Alamo Bowl has never had an all-Texas matchup, but that could change soon.
Source: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

In the nearly 30-year history of the Alamo Bowl, there has never been a matchup between schools from Texas. In fact, there have only been three all-Texas matchups in bowl games since 1960.

That may soon change if the latest realignment dominos fall. This week, Brett McMurphy reported PAC-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff visited SMU and San Diego State, indicating they are top candidates for expansion.

While many consider this a necessary move for the PAC-12’s media rights, a couple of other parties win in the long run. The Alamo Bowl has partnered with the PAC-12 since 2010 and a then-PAC-10 school appeared in the first two Alamo Bowls. Several PAC-12 schools are considerably far from San Antonio, especially the schools in the Pacific Northwest.

While attendance has never been an issue at the Alamo Bowl, the game has not sold out since the January 2016 game. Getting fans to travel from Dallas to San Antonio is less demanding than asking fans to trap from the Pacific Northwest or California.

If SMU were to join the PAC-12, it would be the closest school to San Antonio by far as Dallas is only 274 miles away from San Antonio. The next closest school is Arizona which is 879 miles away from San Antonio.

An all-Texas matchup would be a huge win for the Alamo Bowl, especially considering a matchup between SMU from the PAC-12 and a Texas Big 12 school would be a matchup between two former Southwest Conference schools. The nostalgia would be off the charts as the matchup would recall past days of more regionalization in the sport.

Of course, the other bowl that wins if SMU moves to the PAC-12 is the Independence Bowl. The PAC-12 will appear in the Independence Bowl in 2023 and 2024. Should an SMU move to the PAC-12 materialize soon, they likely will be in the conference by the 2024 season.

Dallas is only 187 miles from Shreveport and SMU likely has a stronger alumni base in Shreveport than any other Pac-12 school. Add the fact that SMU has never appeared in the Independence Bowl and the Mustangs appearing as the PAC-12 representative in 2024 seems to be a slam dunk.

In the seemingly never-ending world of conference realignment, many often overlook the impact on bowls. However, the PAC-12 can make two of its bowl partners incredibly happy by expanding into the Lone Star State.