(UHND.com) — The bowl options for the next four years for Notre Dame were announced today by the University’s Sports Information department. Should the Irish not qualify for a BCS Bowl, they will be eligible to play in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, the Toyota Gator Bowl, the Vitalis Sun Bowl and the Houston Bowl each one time for the next four seasons.
As in past season, Notre Dame is eligible for the Big East’s secondary bowls which include the Gator Bowl, Sun Bowl, and Houston Bowl. The major change however is with the addition of the Cotton Bowl as a bowl possibility for the Irish.
Most recently the Cotton Bowl has been tied to the SEC and Big 12, but a new agreement lets the Irish play in the Cotton Bowl one time in the next four seasons. The new agreement could let the Irish in the Cotton Bowl for the first time since the 1993 season when the Irish won their last bowl game against Texas A&M.
The Gator Bowl’s participants will be slightly different the next four years as well with the ACC keeping its slot in the New Year’s Day game against a Big 12 school two years and a BIG East school or Notre Dame the other two.
Previously, the Gator Bowl featured just the ACC and Big East, but a new alternating bowl schedule has the Big 12 and Big East alternating between the Gator Bowl and the Sun Bowl which is played New Year’s Eve in El Paso.
The fourth bowl, the Houston Bowl, will also be on New Year’s Eve and as the name suggests will be played in Houston at the Texan’s home field, Reliant Stadium.
The Irish have played in both the Gator Bowl and Cotton Bowl before with much better results in the Cotton Bowl. Notre Dame lost to Georgia Tech 35-28 in the 1999 Gator Bowl and NC State 28-6 in the 2003 game with a 20-9 win against Penn State in 1976.
Notre Dame sports a 5-2 record in the Cotton Bowl with wins over Texas A&M in 1992 (28-3) and 1994 (24-21), Texas in 1971 (24-11) and 1978 (38-10), and Houston in 1979 (35-34). The two losses came against Texas in 1970 (17-21) and Texas A&M 1988 (10-35).
This agreement should be seen as an improvement over the old bowl options the Irish had which included games like the Insight.com bowl which is played on the 27th of December. With the new bowl agreement, the Irish will play on either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day should the qualify for one of the bowls. The Irish can return to the Cotton Bowl, a bowl the Irish have had some memorable games in.