Iowa State, the ninth-place team in the Big 12, is headed to the Liberty Bowl, where they'll face Conference USA champion Tulsa, a 10-game winner.
The Cyclones (6-6) finished the 2012 season having lost three of the final four games, but earned that all-important sixth win against Kansas on Nov. 17. It will be Iowa State's third bowl game in the past seven years, and their second-straight appearance in the postseason (lost year year's Pinstripe Bowl).
Tulsa won the C-USA title with a 33-27 win over Central Florida on Saturday
The Liberty Bowl, sponsored by AutoZone, is one of the older bowl games, dating back to 1959. In 1982, it featured the final victory for famed Alabama head coach Bear Bryant.
Held in Memphis' Liberty Bowl Stadium, this year's game offers a $1.7 million payout. Striving to match up Conference USA and the SEC, the game often gives one of the little guys in the south a chance to take down a team from the nation's top conference, just as Central Florida did against Georgia in 2010.
TV schedule: Dec. 31, 2012, 3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Locale: Memphis, Tenn., Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium (61,008)
My thoughts on the title sponsor's services: In days gone by, the only advantage any certain auto parts store had in the race to get my business was to be the closest available option when my car broke down. I had no allegiance to any particular franchise, and I was sure all the major chains were fairly similar. Now, AutoZone's chief rival, NAPA, advertises with one of the worst jingles in the history of marketing. Congrats, AutoZone, by not sending me into a blind rage with your commercials, you've become the official auto parts store of Chris Fuhrmeister -- unless something else is closer next time I break down.
Last year's score: Cincinnati 31, Vanderbilt 24
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