Ball State, winners of six straight straight and the runner-up in the MAC's West Division (behind only BCS-bound Northern Illinois) is headed to beautiful Tropicana Field for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl. They'll get Conference USA runner-up Central Florida, which went 9-4 after taking Tulsa to overtime.
The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl typically pits a middling team from the Big East against a top team from Conference-USA, with the MAC and Sun Belt Conference sending teams if either of the original conferences do not have enough bowl eligible teams. The bowl began in 2008 as the magicjack St. Petersburg Bowl before Beef 'O' Brady's took over the sponsorship in 2009.
TV schedule: Friday, Dec. 21, 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN
Locale: St. Petersburg, FL, Tropicana Field (45,369)
My thoughts on the title sponsor's services: A "sports" bar isn't exactly a novel idea, but for good reason. They're terrific. You walk in, eat, drink and watch sports. What more do you want? Beef 'O' Brady's slogan shows they understand that more than anyone, as it follows the always applicable principle of less is more: "Good Food. Good Sports". So simple. Food. Sports. No messing around. I can get on board with that.
Last year's score: Marshall 20, FIU 10
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