PROVIDENCE, R.I. – UCF will face Baylor in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, marking the Knights’ first appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game in program history and highlighting five bowl appearances by American Athletic Conference teams to cap the 2013 season.
UCF went unbeaten in American Athletic Conference play to win the outright conference title and claim The conference’s automatic bid to the BCS. The Knights will be joined in the postseason by Louisville, Cincinnati, Houston and Rutgers from The American.
UCF (11-1), which wrapped up the outright conference championship with a 17-13 win at SMU Saturday, was ranked No. 15 in the final BCS standings after the Knights closed the season with seven straight wins. UCF’s only loss of the season was a three-point setback to a South Carolina squad that is ranked No. 9 in the final BCS standings.
The Knights will face Baylor (11-1), which won the Big 12 title for the first time in school history, won its first conference title of any kind since 1980 and is ranked No. 6 in the BCS. The Bears’ only loss of the season was a 49-17 decision at Oklahoma State Nov. 23.
UCF is 2-3 all-time in bowl games, but has won its last two – a 10-6 victory against Georgia in the 2010 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and a 38-17 decision against Ball State last year in the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl.
The Tostitos Fiesta Bowl will be take place at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., Jan. 1 at 8:30 p.m. ET.
Louisville (11-1), which finished in second place in the American Athletic Conference, will make its fourth straight bowl appearance as the Cardinals play in the Russell Athletic Bowl in Orlando, Fla. Louisville will face Miami (Fla.) (9-3), which tied for second place in the ACC Coastal Division. The Cardinals are 8-7-1 all-time in the postseason, including last year’s 33-23 win against No. 3 Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. The Russell Athletic Bowl will be played Dec. 28 at 6:45 p.m. at Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium.
The Belk Bowl selected Cincinnati (9-3) for the second straight year after the Bearcats went 6-2 in The American. Cincinnati, which was a 48-34 winner against Duke in last year’s Belk Bowl, will face North Carolina (6-6) Dec. 28 at 3:20 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Cincinnati, which is making its sixth postseason appearance in seven years, has an 8-6 all-time record in bowl games, including two straight wins.
Rutgers (6-6) returns to the postseason for the third straight year and the seventh time in the last eight seasons as the Scarlet Knights were selected for the New Era Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium. Rutgers will face Notre Dame (8-4) Dec. 28 at noon ET. The Scarlet Knights are 5-3 all-time in bowl games, including a 27-13 win against Iowa State in the 2011 Pinstripe Bowl.
Houston (7-5) was chosen for the BBVA Compass Bowl at Legions Field in Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 4, when the Cougars will face Vanderbilt (8-4). Houston will make its 22nd bowl appearance and its eighth in the last 11 seasons. The Cougars are 9-11-1 all-time in bowl games after defeating Penn State 30-14 in the Ticket City Bowl to cap the 2011 season.
2013-14 AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE BOWL SCHEDULE
New Era Pinstripe Bowl • Dec. 28
Rutgers vs. Notre Dame, Noon
Series: Notre Dame leads, 4-0
Last Meeting: 2002 – Notre Dame, 42-0
Belk Bowl • Dec. 28
Cincinnati vs. North Carolina, 3:20 p.m.
Series: North Carolina leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: 1991 – North Carolina, 51-16
Russell Athletic Bowl • Dec. 28
Louisville vs. Miami (Fla.), 6:45 p.m.
Series: Miami leads, 9-1-1
Last Meeting: Sept. 16, 2006 — Louisville, 31-7
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl • Jan. 1
UCF vs. Baylor, 8:30 p.m.
Series: First meeting
BBVA Compass Bowl • Jan. 4
Houston vs. Vanderbilt, 1 p.m.
Series: First meeting