Beginning with the 2006 game, the Chick-fil-A Bowl had purchased the right to select the highest-ranked Atlantic Coast Conference team after representatives from the Bowl Championship Series made their selection. According to the official selection rules still used today, the team chosen to represent the ACC must be within one conference victory of the remaining, highest-ranked conference team or be ranked more than five spaces ahead of the ACC team with the best Conference record available in the final BCS Standings.
In choosing the SEC opponent, the Chick-fil-A Bowl selection committee had the right to select the first SEC school after the Bowl Championship Series, Cotton Bowl Classic, Capital One Bowl, and Outback Bowl made their selections. Just as in the ACC, the selection committee could not select an SEC team with two fewer losses than the highest available team. The bowl earned the right to select these teams via its multi-million-dollar payout system, which guarantees a certain amount of money to the participating conferences. Prior to 2006, the Chick-fil-A Bowl (then known as the Peach Bowl) matched the No. 5 team in the SEC versus the No. 3 team in the ACC. After the bowl increased its payout to $2.8 million per squad, it then was given the second pick from the ACC, with the Gator Bowl dropping to third.
Leeman Bennett, the former head coach of the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, served as chairman of the selection committee, which had the task of picking the best teams from those made available by the selection criteria set by the two conferences. The committee would have approximately one month to select the two teams that would attract the most people to the game and generate the largest possible television audience. Supervising the selection committee was the Chick-fil-A Bowl Executive Committee, which consisted of representatives from various Atlanta businesses and the Chick-fil-A corporation.
Read more about this topic: 2007 Chick-fil-A Bowl
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