Monday, October 28, 2013

C-USA announces 9-bowl lineup

Conference USA made official its nine football bowl affiliations through the 2019 season on Monday.

The Charlotte 49ers begin play in the Football Bowl Subdivision's C-USA in 2015 and will be bowl eligible in 2016.

The league's new bowls are the Bahamas Bowl, Miami Beach Bowl an the Boca Raton Bowl. C-USA already has agreements with the Beef O'Brady Bowl (St. Petersburg, Fla.), the Heart of Dallas Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl and the Hawaii Bowl. The league has secondary agreements with the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl (Fort Worth, Texas) and the AdvoCare V100 Bowl in Shreveport, La.

"Our future bowl line-up is truly amazing,” C-USA commissioner Britton Banowsky said in a statement. “We have been fortunate to partner with great bowls in the past. In addition to the bowls within our members’ footprint, fans also have some tremendous destinations to see their favorite teams play.”

C-USA teams will face opposition from the American Athletic, Big 12, Big Ten, Mid-American, Mountain West and Sun Belt conferences.

Here's a look at each bowl (thanks to the league office):

The Bahamas Bowl will join the bowl line-up in 2014 as the only postseason college football game outside of the United States. The inaugural game will be held in the new Thomas A. Robinson Stadium in Nassau, Bahamas. Conference USA expects to face a team from the Mid-American Conference in 2015, the American Athletic Conference in 2018 and the Sun Belt Conference in 2019.

Beef ‘O’ Brady’s St. Petersburg Bowl began in 2008 and has had a Conference USA participant since its inception, and has been victorious the past two seasons. This bowl is owned and operated by ESPN and held prior to Christmas each year at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. C-USA will meet a team from the American Athletic Conference a minimum of three years.

The Boca Raton Bowl will be played in FAU Stadium on the campus of C-USA member Florida Atlantic University. It is the newest bowl announced that will be run by ESPN. The league will send a team to a minimum of four Boca Raton Bowls, beginning in 2014 against the Mid-American Conference. C-USA will face a member of the American Athletic Conference in later years.

Conference USA will enter its first-year as a primary partner with the Gildan New Mexico Bowl and will send a team to Albuquerque all six years between 2014 and 2019. C-USA will face a representative from the Mountain West Conference each season at University Stadium on the campus of the University of New Mexico.

The Heart of Dallas Bowl presented by PlainsCapital Bank was established in 2012 with the unique
perspective of creating an event that will give back to its community. The Heart of Dallas is a non-profit dedicated to supporting causes in the Dallas area, using sports and entertainment as a vehicle to help gain awareness. Conference USA expects to play in the bowl six years and will alternate opponents from the Big Ten and Big 12 as teams meet in the historic Cotton Bowl Stadium.

The Miami Beach Bowl will also host its first game during the 2014 season, with Conference USA expected to face a team from the American Athletic Conference in 2014 and 2015. The American will own and operate the Miami Beach Bowl, which will be held at Marlins Park – the home of Major League Baseball’s Miami Marlins. Marlins Park is located on the former site of the historic Orange Bowl Stadium in Miami. Conference USA will play in the bowl a minimum of three years.

The R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl has hosted a Conference USA team nine times during its 12-year history, with a current C-USA team winning six of those 12 bowls. The game will continue to be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. C-USA is scheduled to be involved in three games over the next six years.

C-USA also resumes its long-term partnership with the Sheraton Hawai’i Bowl to play in the annual
Christmas Eve game. A C-USA team has participated in, and won, the last four games in Honolulu. Following a 2013 meeting with a Mountain West team, the two conferences will square off again at Aloha Stadium in 2014, 2016 and 2018.

Conference USA enters a new secondary partnership with the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, played at
Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La. C-USA will provide a surplus team to the bowl in the event the Southeastern Conference or Atlantic Coast Conference are unable to provide a team.