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Originally published Friday, June 12, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Pac-10 in talks with the Alamo Bowl

If a deal is reached, the Alamo Bowl and Holiday Bowl could alternate where the No. 2 and No. 3 teams play their bowl games

Seattle Times staff reporter

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Pac-10 football fans who have long clamored for a shake-up in the league's bowl partners could begin to see some change with the 2010 season.

The conference is in discussions with the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio for a possible contract to begin after this season's pacts expire. The per-team payouts could potentially position the bowl to earn an alternating spot with the Holiday Bowl, long a holder of the Pac-10's No. 2 pick behind the Rose Bowl, for the second and third choices.

The Alamo Bowl was represented at last week's Pac-10 summer meetings. The league is expecting to know whether it will have a firm offer by the end of the month.

"We're determining the marketplace," said Alamo Bowl spokesman Rick Hill. "We're still talking to our current partners, but we want to investigate the landscape."

A two-year agreement in the early 1990s between the Pac-10 and the Alamo ended after the 1994 season. Since 1995, the Alamo has been aligned with the Big 12 and Big Ten.

The Alamo, regionally tied to the Big 12, wants to continue with that arrangement, but would like to enhance the profile on the other side. The Big Ten's top three slots are taken by the Rose Bowl and the two lucrative Florida bowls, the Outback and Capital One.

The Alamo last year had a per-team payout of $2.25 million, comparable to the Holiday's $2.3 million. The Sun Bowl, which has long been tied to the Pac-10's No. 3 team, paid $1.9 million.

Discussions are still in the formative stage, but if the Alamo pledges a payout equal to the Holiday, the two bowls could alternate positions.

If the Sun stays aligned with the Pac-10, it presumably would then have the No. 4 choice of league teams.

Bud Withers: 206-464-8281 or bwithers@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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