Bowl Season Overview: Conference USA & Sun Belt

Bowl Season Overview: Conference USA & Sun Belt

Tulsa time at the Liberty Bowl


  1. Liberty Bowl
  2. Hawai'i Bowl
  3. Armed Forces Bowl
  4. Beef O'Brady's Bowl
  5. Military Bowl
  6. New Orleans Bowl

Tulsa (10-3) won the Conference USA title and the Liberty Bowl berth.  The meeting is supposed to be with an SEC team, but the way the dominos fell, the Golden Hurricane ended up with 6-6 Iowa State from the Big 12.

Central Florida (9-4) was the loser in the title game, but it slipped to the fourth slot -- the Beef O’Brady’s Bowl in St. Petersburg -- probably because they figured that Central Florida fans might be located in, well, central Florida.  The Knights will battle Ball State.

East Carolina (8-4) ended up in the New Orleans Bowl in (surprise!) New Orleans.  The Pirates will line up against local favorite Louisiana-Lafayette.

Southern Methodist (6-6) will travel to Honolulu for a matchup with Fresno State in the Hawai’i Bowl.  Perhaps the folks in islands thought the Mustangs would have a bigger traveling party.

Rice (6-6) will head to Fort Worth for the Armed Forces Bowl against Air Force.

Sun Belt

  1. Bowl
  2. New Orleans Bowl

The Sun Belt had five teams reach bowl-eligibility, but Middle Tennessee ended up being passed over.  Four teams will play on, however:

Arkansas State (9-3) will participate in one of the more appealing “lesser” bowls in the Bowl against 11-2 Kent State.  The Golden Flashes wanted the Orange Bowl spot that went to Northern Illinois.

Louisiana-Lafayette (8-4) got the aforementioned New Orleans Bowl bid against East Carolina.

Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) opened the year with what appeared to be a massive upset of Arkansas.  Later it turned out that Arkansas was a disaster area that hadn’t been declared yet.  Regardless, the Warhawks are headed to the Independence Bowl to face 8-4 Ohio.

Western Kentucky (7-5) also snagged a major upset (over Kentucky), and earned a spot in the Little Caesars Bowl in Detroit against Central Michigan.