Pittsburgh is headed back to Birmingham for the third year in a row, where it will meet Ole Miss in the BBVA Compass Bowl. The 6-6 Panthers (5th in the Big East) will enter the game having won two straight to finished 6-6 and become bowl eligible. Similarly, Ole Miss needed a win in its last game, against Mississippi State, to qualify with its sixth victory of the regular season.
Pitt beat Kentucky in the 2011 BBVA Compass Bowl, but fell to SMU last year. This will mark Ole Miss' first bowl game since the 2009 season, when they beat Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl.
For those who like to argue that college football features too many bowl games, the BBVA Compass Bowl is often a target. Played in Birmingham, Ala., in early January between two middling teams, this game usually isn't circled on anyone's calendar.
The Big East has sent a team to all six of the previous games, compiling a 5-1 record. The conference's opponent has historically come from either the ACC, C-USA or SEC. With an SEC team in this year's game, attendance should be decent, as opposed to last year, when 29,726 turned out to watch Pittsburgh and SMU.
TV schedule: Jan. 5, 2013, 1 p.m. ET, ESPN
Locale: Birmingham, Ala., Legion Field (71,594)
My thoughts on the title sponsor's services: BBVA Compass is a bank headquartered in the bowl's home city of Birmingham. There isn't really much to say about banks, because banks are generally pretty boring. Like banks, this bowl game is usually pretty boring. In the five previous games, only one was decided by fewer than 10 points. I'm getting bored just thinking about all of this.
Last year's score: SMU 28, Pittsburgh 6
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