The Big 12 and the SEC have agreed that their champions will meet in a postseason bowl game starting in 2014, provided that neither team has been selected to play in the BCS National Championship game. This agreement essentially recreates the Rose Bowl (Pac12/B1G matchup) in the SE and could pave the way for 4-team playoff using those two bowls as de facto national sites. Jason Kirk of SBNation CFB thinks this is an effort by the Big 12 and SEC to align themselves in detente against the B1G and Pac12, who cherish the Rose Bowl like a long-lost lover.
The language of the agreement apparently states that this bowl will exist outside of a playoff structure; if one of the teams that is supposed to play in this game is in the playoffs, they will be replaced. The chances of a 4-team playoff happening without one or both of the champions of the Big 12 and the SEC is miniscule, so I'm not buying it. This game is designed to be incorporated into that structure as a semifinal. I'd bet anything.
This is huge news, everyone; the possible implications are enormous. Assuming that things come to pass as I just said, that would leave two major players out in the cold: the ACC and Notre Dame. Already numerous impartial observers on twitter are saying that this makes FSU to the Big 12 almost inevitable because FSU needs a spot in that format and won't/can't go to the SEC. Notre Dame now has to decide whether it wants to stay independent and forfeit any chance of making this playoff.
I'll keep this post updated as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: The Big 12's official release about the 5-year agreement is available with quotes from Interim Commissioner Neinas and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive.
Source to SN: Goal of new #SEC-Big12 bowl is a stand-alone game with its own (separate) TV contract. Revenue potential "unthinkable."— Matt Hayes (@Matt_HayesSN) May 18, 2012