The Military Bowl has only been around since 2008, but it's hosted some great games over the years. With four of the five games thus far being determined by 10 points or fewer, whichever two schools head to Annapolis this December should be ready for a fun afternoon of football.
The Military Bowl holds ties to the ACC and Conference USA, though they've had their pick of a couple non-conference teams the past couple seasons. Here's a fun fact: in a year or two, the Military Bowl is likely to become the Congressional Bowl.
Date and time, ET: Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at 2:30 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Annapolis, Maryland
Stadium: Navy-Marine Corps. Stadium; 34,000 capacity
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: San Jose State 29 - Bowling Green 20
Last year's attendance: 17,835
Last year's TV rating: 1.3 Nielsen; approximately 1.9 million people.
Last year's payout for each school: $1 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: No school has made more than one appearance.
Team with the most all-time wins: Maryland, San Jose State, Toledo, UCLA and Wake Forest all have one win.
Maryland (7-5, 3-5 ACC)
Remember when Maryland was ranked? It’s alright if you don’t -- after a 4-0 start to the season gave them the dreaded No. 25 spot, they were destroyed 63-0 at the hands of Florida State and didn’t really recover for more than a month after that.
Those first four wins came against FIU, Old Dominion, UConn and a 37-0 win over West Virginia that doesn’t look nearly as great in retrospective. After the FSU loss, they just barely beat a 2-10 Virginia team before losses against Wake Forest, Clemson and Syracuse. With bowl eligibility on the line, Maryland pulled out a dramatic overtime win in Blacksburg against Virginia Tech -- this first-ever conference win against the Hokies. After a heartbreaking home loss to Boston College, Maryland went on the road and blew out NC State to finish the season out.
The Terps are led by dual-threat quarterback C.J. Brown, who has had to shoulder much of the offensive load after season-ending injuries to star wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Deon Long. Maryland is bolstered by a very strong defensive unit, led by elite pass rushers Marcus Whitfield and Andre Monroe.
Last bowl game: 2010 Military Bowl vs. East Carolina, 51-20 win
All-time bowl record: 11-11-2
Head coach's bowl record: Randy Edsall, 3-2
Marshall (9-4, 7-2 C-USA)
The Thundering Herd quietly put together an excellent campaign in Doc Holliday's fourth year -- all four of their losses came against bowl-eligible teams, and they nearly brought home their first Conference USA championship. They came up just short of a win over an ACC team earlier in the year, but now they've been given one more shot.
The Herd's offense put up some big numbers down the stretch, scoring at least 45 points in five of their last six games. The unit is led by Rakeem Cato, who has thrown for 3,579 yards, 36 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Among FBS quarterbacks, only Derek Carr and Jameis Winston have more touchdown passes.
Last bowl game: 2011 Beef O’Brady’s Bowl vs. Florida International, 20-10 win
All-time bowl record: 7-2
Head coach's bowl record: Doc Holliday, 1-0