The New Orleans Bowl has been played every year since 2001 in — you guessed it! — New Orleans, La. The game became officially known as the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl when the bowl's partnership with the freight shipping company began in 2005. The New Orleans Bowl traditionally pits a C-USA team against the champion of the Sun Belt conference.
Date and time, ET: Dec. 21, 8:00 PM ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: New Orleans, La.
Stadium: Mercedes-Benz Superdome (capacity: 76,468)
Last year's score: UL-Lafayette 43, East Carolina 34
Last year's attendance: 48,828
Last year's TV rating: 1.8 share (2.6 million viewers)
Last year's payout for each school: $500,000
Team with the most all-time appearances: Southern Miss and North Texas (4)
Team with the most all-time wins: Southern Miss (3)
UL Lafayette (8-3)
The Superdome is starting to become a home-away-from-home of sorts for Louisiana-Lafayette, which is headed back to the New Orleans Bowl for the third straight year. The event has been kind to the Cajuns, who won both previous appearances.
As was the case a year ago, the Ragin' Cajuns rode one of the Sun Belt's best offenses to a winning record in 2013. They have a solid running back tandem in Elijah McGuire and Alonzo Harris, who both have more than 800 yards rushing. They also have an experienced quarterback in Terrance Broadway, who is completing better than 62 percent of his throws while averaging 9.2 yards per attempt.
That could prove a tough group for Tulane to stop, assuming that Broadway is fully recovered from the forearm injury he suffered on Nov. 30. (He's expected to be ready to go.)
Last bowl game: 2012 New Orleans Bowl vs. East Carolina, 43-34 win
Last year without a bowl: 2010
All-time bowl record: 2-0
Head coach's bowl record: Mark Hudspeth, 2-0
Tulane is one of the bigger surprises of the year — the Green Wave came into 2013 on a string of 10 consecutive losing records. They won two games in 2012, and few expected them to be competitive in Conference USA back before the season began.
Now they have a chance to equal their highest win total since 2002. The big difference for the Green Wave this year is on the defensive side of the ball, where they are allowing 4.9 yards per play. That represents significant improvement over the year prior, and considering the struggles Tulane is having offensively, it's that defense that deserves the bulk of the credit for the turnaround.
Last bowl game: 2002 Hawaii Bowl, 36-28 win
Last year without a bowl: 2012
All-time bowl record: 4-7
Head coach's bowl record: Curtis Johnson, 0-0