The Big 12 wants to have a greater postseason presence in Florida and get into more bowls that its fans can reach by car.
As college football gets ready for a shake-up in its postseason system, Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he would like to have reach agreements with five or six bowl games.
Bowlsby and the other nine major conference commissioners, along with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, will meet in southern California this week to pick the final three bowls to be involved in the six-site playoff rotation. Once those are in place, the conferences can turn their attention to the other bowls for 2014 and beyond.
The Big 12's current agreements, which end after this season, do not include a Florida game. Bowlsby said league officials want to change that, while keeping a strong hold on Texas and having a destination "out West."
Also, Iowa State's successful trip to the Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn., last season - at least in terms of ticket sales - has the conference considering deals with bowls closer to campuses.
"I think that probably did cause us to think about bowls closer to home," Bowlsby said in a recent phone interview.
Bowlsby declined to talk about specific bowls being targeted by the Big 12, but a person familiar with the conference's plans told The Associated Press league officials are interested in striking a deal with at least one of the Tennessee bowls games - the Liberty Bowl or the Music City Bowl in Nashville.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the conference was not discussing details of its plans publicly.
The Liberty Bowl's current agreements are with the Southeastern Conference, Conference USA and the Big East. C-USA and the Big East, which will change its name to the American Athletic Conference next season, have been drastically altered by realignment. Seven C-USA teams will join the American over the next two seasons.
Last year, the SEC did not have enough bowl eligible teams to fill the Liberty Bowl slot and game organizers struck a deal with Iowa State. Cylcones fans gobbled up tickets and about 25,000 showed up to watch their team lose to Tulsa. Ames, Iowa, is about a six-hour drive from Memphis.
Most of the other nine Big 12 schools are within seven to 10 hours of Memphis - not a short trip but doable in a day.