HOUSTON (CBS SPORTS) – If the five smaller conferences can swing a seventh playoff game — all depends on what kind of TV contract they can muster, and early signs don’t seem good — Houston appears to be a target.

Officials have had preliminary discussions with the city about hosting the seventh bowl, according to sources. Certainly other cities could be considered, but Houston is a viable option because of a solid facility (Reliant Stadium), its centralized location and the city’s eagerness to elevate its bowl portfolio beyond the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas.

With six playoff bowls already cemented, commissioners and presidents are waiting to see if the Big East and company can pull this off. The proposed partnership in September meetings would match the highest-ranked champion among the current non-automatic qualifiers — Big East, Mountain West, Sun Belt, Conference USA, Mid-American Conferences — and a team from Pac-12 or Big 12.

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