Dec. 2, 2012
Conference USA will have five teams playing in bowl games this season and the schedule and matchups for those games have been set. C-USA Football Champion Tulsa is joined in the postseason by UCF, East Carolina, Rice and SMU.
Tulsa will play in the 54th annual AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Monday, December 31 in Memphis, Tenn. The Golden Hurricane will face Iowa State in a rematch of the opening weekend game, won by the Cyclones, 38-23. It will be the fourth consecutive bowl game for TU, which has gone to postseason play seven times in eight seasons as a member of C-USA. Tulsa's last AutoZone Liberty Bowl appearance was in 2005, when the Hurricane defeated Fresno State, 31-24.
East Division Division Champion UCF will play in the Beef `O' Brady's Bowl on Friday, December 21 in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Knights will face former Mid-American Conference rival Ball State in the game. It will be the third bowl game in four seasons for UCF, which includes a 2009 Beef `O' Brady's Bowl appearance against Rutgers.
East Carolina, winners of five of its last six games, will make its first appearance in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl on Saturday, December 22. The Pirates will face Louisiana-Lafayette, the defending champions of the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl. After a one-year absence, East Carolina will play postseason football for the sixth time in seven seasons.
SMU is in a bowl game for the fourth straight season, the first time in school history that has happened. The Mustangs will play Mountain West Conference tri-champion Fresno State, winners of five straight games, in the Sheraton Hawai'i Bowl on Monday, December 24 in Honolulu. The Mustangs become the first C-USA team to make multiple trips to the Hawai'i Bowl, which the league has been partnered with in all but one season since its inception in 2002.
Rice will play in the 10th Anniversary Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on Saturday, December 29 in Fort Worth, Texas. The Owls, winners of their final four regular season games, will face Air Force. It will be the first bowl game for Rice since capping a 10-win season with a Texas Bowl victory in 2008.
2012-13 C-USA BOWL SCHEDULE
BEEF `O' BRADY'S BOWL (St. Petersburg, Fla.)
Friday, December 21
UCF vs. Ball State (ESPN) 7 p.m. CST
R+L CARRIERS NEW ORLEANS BOWL (New Orleans, La.)
Saturday, December 22
East Carolina vs. Louisiana-Lafayette (ESPN) 11 a.m. CST
SHERATON HAWAI'I BOWL (Honolulu, Hawai'i)
Monday, December 24
SMU vs. Fresno State (ESPN) 7 p.m. CST
BELL HELICOPTER ARMED FORCES BOWL (Dallas, Texas)
Saturday, December 29
Rice vs. Air Force (ESPN) 10:45 a.m. CST
AUTO ZONE LIBERTY BOWL (Memphis, Tenn.)
Monday, December 31
Tulsa vs. Iowa State (ESPN) 2:30p CST