The biggest surprise of the Conference USA bids thus far is that the UTEP Miners, rather than play in the New Orleans Bowl, instead are headed to the New Mexico Bowl to play against the BYU Cougars. Very neat little matchup they put together over there.
That’s the only place that the teams have differed from our very own Dustin Rensink’s projections earlier this week. The Central Florida Knights won the conference and will play in the Liberty Bowl, the Southern Miss. Golden Eagles have accepted an invitation to the Beef O’Brady’s St. Petersburgh Bowl, and the East Carolina Pirates are headed to Washington to play in the Military Bowl.
That leaves the Tulsa Golden Hurricane and the SMU Mustangs as the only two bowl-eligible C-USA teams not to have locked their spots up. The traditional tie-ins would point to the Hawaii Bowl, Armed Forces Bowl and New Orleans Bowl. Dustin projected SMU to the Armed Forces and Tulsa to the Hawaii earlier this week.
EDIT: Full schedule below
UTEP vs. BYU -- New Mexico Bowl, Dec. 18, 2 p.m. -- Albuquerque
Southern Miss vs. Louisville Cardinals -- Beef O'Brady's St. Petersburg Bowl, Dec. 21, 8 p.m. -- St. Petersburg
Tulsa vs. Hawaii Warriors-- Hawaii Bowl, Dec. 24, 8 p.m. -- Honolulu
Maryland Terrapins vs. East Carolina -- Military Bowl, Dec. 29, 2 p.m. -- Washington D.C.
SMU vs. Army Black Knights -- Armed Forces Bowl, Dec. 30, 11 a.m. -- Dallas
Georgia vs. UCF -- Liberty Bowl, Dec. 31, 6:30 p.m. -- Memphis