I have a feeling this is going to be the first piece to fall in what could be a moderately sized bowl shake-up by the time the 2010 season begins.
Bud Withers of the Seattle Times first reported this story and Ted Miller from ESPN is now claiming that the Pac-10 is extremely close to signing off on a contract that will send the Pac-10's #2 team to the Alamo Bowl to likely face the Big 12's #3.
Withers is also claiming that the Insight Bowl is going to make a bid for the #4 Big 12 team. That would mean that if the Holiday Bowl were to keep it's Pac-10 and Big 12 tie-ins, then it would be likely left with the #3 Pac-10 vs. the #5 Big 12 - a definite downgrade.
This all started with the Alamo offering $3 million to the Pac-10 - a figure that the Holiday won't match. The contract between the Holiday and Pac-10 ends after this bowl season and I am sure that the Holiday Bowl and the city of San Diego will likely shop around before they reach any agreement.
Without the Alamo Bowl, it's anyone's guess as to where the Big 10's #4 will land, but a great option could be to simply send them over to the Houston Bowl or even to San Diego if the Holiday Bowl feels like getting a little nasty. Don't feel sorry for the Big 10 as I think there will be several viable options as they have a coveted television audience.
I, for one, am ready for anything that begins to resemble a bowl overhaul. It sure seems like that we are seeing the same match-ups again and again.