Big East Commissioner John Marinatto looked at this:
BCS Bowl - Big East Champion
Champs Sports Bowl - Big East vs. ACC
Meineke Car Care Bowl - Big East vs. ACC
New Era Pinstripe Bowl - Big East vs. Big 12
Papajohns.com Bowl - Big East vs. SEC or C-USA
AutoZone Liberty Bowl - Big East vs. SEC or C-USA
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl - Big East vs. C-USA
And said this:
''By all accounts, the Big East bowl lineup is stronger than it's ever been. We have aligned ourselves with great bowl games in first-class destinations.''
The Champs Sports Bowl is played in Orlando, which is a very fine destination, as Marinatto suggested. It pits the Big East's No. 2 team - or at least its best traveling team among those not in the BCS game - against the ACC's No. 3 team.
This is the former Gator Bowl matchup, just at a half-million-dollar payout reduction to go along with a little less prestige. And there's still this lurking:
The bowl will be allowed to select Notre Dame once in a four-year period, provided the Irish have a 7-5 record or better and are within two victories of the No. 2 Big East team.
While it would be nice to think the Big East could negotiate bowl contracts without Notre Dame, it won't - it can't really. The league, which is looked at nationally as a kid brother, needs the big-name Irish to be a part of its talks so it can secure bowl agreements from better bowls.
And Notre Dame, which, believe it or not, has taken a Big East's bowl spot just twice in 12 years, needs to know it has options.
But for how long?
Perhaps Brian Kelly will finally return Notre Dame to the top of the college football world. If they think that's going to happen - and you bet they do - it might not be long before they have little need to swing their pens at contracts like this.
We all know about the Meineke Car Care Bowl and its $1 million payout. That's the Big East's No. 3 vs. No. 4, 5, or 6 from the ACC.
Nowhere in these alignments, outside of the BCS and that's still not a given, is a Big East team playing its seed equal from anther BCS league.
Another new bowl on the schedule is the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, which will be played in relatively new, and quite likely frozen, Yankee Stadium. It's the Big East's No. 4 vs. the No. 6 team from the Big 12.
The Papajohns.com Bowl, which is played in Birmingham, Ala., (not a first-class destination) pays out a song and a dance, though it does provide a low-level Big East team an opportunity to play an SEC team.
The AutoZone Liberty Bowl is steeped in history, but it actually has working agreements with SEC and Conference USA teams, and a ''contingency'' agreement with the Big East.
The Big East will send its teams to two of these three games - Papajohns.com Bowl, the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (formerly St. Petersburg Bowl) and the Liberty - in each of the 2010-13 seasons.
While this does look like something of an upgrade, particularly near the bottom as in no one is going to Canada anymore, it looks far from appealing and Marinatto's words - ''first-class destinations'' - are certainly up for debate.
If this is as good as it gets with Notre Dame in play, imagine what it might be like without it.
West Virginia's spring game is set for 7 p.m. Friday under the lights at Mountaineer Field. Like last year, Coach Bill Stewart has elected to play the regulars vs. the backups in an actual scrimmage, rather than the situational points setup preferred by Rich Rodriguez.
There will be no stadium re-entry passes issued for the game, just as that practice is not in place for any night games. Stadium seating, restrooms and concessions will be open on the west side only.
The gates open at 6 p.m., and tickets are available for $5 each. They can be purchased at the gate on game day or in advance this week at the Mountaineer Ticket Office located in the WVU Coliseum. WVU students will be admitted free with a valid ID.
Jim Elliott can be reached via e-mail at:email@example.com