College football announced its slate of bowl games Sunday, and the University of South Florida Bulls are once again Alabama-bound, as they will be playing in the Birmingham Bowl for the second year in a row.
This time, the Bulls (9-2, 6-2 American Conference) will take on Texas Tech Red Raiders (6-6, 3-6 Big 12) on Saturday, December 23 at noon.
“We are very excited to see the Bulls return to Birmingham to take on another high-level opponent in a bowl game,” USF Director of Athletics Mark Harlan said. “We had a great experience at the bowl last year and this is a great opportunity to see some of the most exciting and dynamic players in our program’s history close out their careers on a high note. I look forward to again seeing Bulls Nation out in force in Birmingham as we continue to make bowling an annual USF holiday season event.”
It's the ninth bowl game in program history for USF.
“This is an exciting bowl match-up and a chance for our team and this tremendous senior class to close the 2017 season with a win,” added USF Head Coach Charlie Strong. “It’s the third straight bowl game for our program and a chance to go out and try to beat an exciting opponent and get to double-digit wins for a second straight year. Our guys are excited to play.”
There were high hopes for this season's team, but losses to Houston and conference champion University of Central Florida relegated the Bulls to the Birmingham Bowl, which they won last year over South Carolina, 46-39.
Speaking of South Carolina, the Gamecocks will play the University of Michigan Wolverines on Jan. 1 in the Outback Bowl in Tampa.
Also locally, Florida International will face off against Temple on Dec. 21 in the Gasparilla Bowl at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg.
In other games with state ties, UCF, the only undefeated team in Division I football this season, plays Auburn Jan. 1 in the Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Miami will play Wisconsin in the Orange Bowl in Miami Gardens Dec. 30, and Florida State will play Southern Miss in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, LA, Dec. 27.
Camping World Stadium in Orlando will host three games: Western Kentucky and Georgia State in the Cure Bowl on Dec. 16, Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State in the Camping World Bowl on Dec. 28 and Notre Dame and LSU in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1.
Florida Atlantic will host Akron in the Boca Raton Bowl Dec. 19, and Louisville and Mississippi State will play in the TaxSlayer Bowl in Jacksonville Dec. 30.
The College Football Playoffs feature #2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Georgia in the Rose Bowl and #1 Clemson vs. #4 Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, both on Jan. 1. The latter game is a rematch of the last two National Championship games, including the one played earlier this season at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
Tie winners of those two games will meet in the Championship Game a week later in Atlanta.
Tickets for the Birmingham Bowl are $50, and may be bought at GoUSFBulls.com or by calling 1-800-GoBulls. USF students can buy up to two discounted tickets for $2o each (plus service fees) through their USF student account.