Few bowls have experienced as much sponsorship turnover as the Russell Athletic Bowl, which has previously been been named after titans of industry such as Blockbuster, CarQuest, Champs Sports and MicronPC.com. Since 2001, the game has been played at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando. Prior to that, the game was played in SunLife Stadium, the home of the Miami Dolphins.
The Russell Athletic Bowl's conference tie-ins are with the ACC and AAC, which probably makes their board meetings pretty confusing.
Date and time, ET: Dec. 28, 6:30 PM
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Orlando, FL
Stadium: Citrus Bowl (capacity: 70,229)
Tickets: Find available seats here.
Last year's score: Virginia Tech 13, Rutgers 10 (OT)
Last year's attendance: 48,129
Last year's TV rating: 2.5 share (3.9 million viewers)
Last year's payout for each school: $2.3 million
Team with the most all-time appearances: NC State (5)
Team with the most all-time wins: NC State and Florida State (3)
Louisville (11-1, 7-1 AAC)
Following its convincing win over Florida in last year’s Sugar Bowl, Louisville entered the 2013 season with aspirations of returning to a BCS bowl and having its star quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, contend for a Heisman trophy in his last hurrah before being taken as the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft. But a 38-35 loss to UCF put the Cardinals in a situation in which they would need help to win the AAC, and that help never came.
Despite having the best quarterback in the country at its disposal, the Cardinals’ offense has sputtered at times, especially during the second half of the season. Meanwhile, Louisville’s defense has very quietly limited opponents to just 4.14 yards per play, a mark that leads the AAC and ranks third nationally.
Last bowl game: 2013 Sugar Bowl vs. Florida, 33-23 win
Last year without a bowl: 2009
All-time bowl record: 8-8-1
Head coach's bowl record: Charlie Strong, 2-2
Miami (9-3, 5-3 ACC)
Although a 7-0 start did not translate into the year they hoped it might, the Hurricanes should be mighty satisfied with their 2013 season -- their nine wins were the most since 2009, and with a victory in their bowl game, they’ll have a chance to crack double digits for the first time since 2003. Even more encouraging is the fact that their losses came only against the elites of the ACC -- to Florida State, eventual Coastal Division champion Duke, and an always solid Virginia Tech team. This is the third straight season Miami has increased its win total under Al Golden. In short, the Hurricanes are trending up. A storm is a-swirling..
With star running back Duke Johnson already lost for the season, the Hurricanes will lean heavily on quarterback Stephen Morris, who posted an 11:4 TD:INT ratio in Miami’s five games without Johnson. Dallas Crawford, working in Johnson’s place at tailback, has been only mildly effective, rushing for 232 yards (46.4 yards per game) over that span. With the month of extended bowl practice, though, there’s good reason to expect he should be more effective for this one. On the other side of the ball, Miami is led by Denzel "The President" Perryman and his team-high 104 tackles, and defensive lineman Shayon Green, who has 10.5 tackles for loss on the season.
Last bowl game: 2010 Sun Bowl vs. Notre Dame, 33-17 loss
Last year without a bowl: 2012
All-time bowl record:18-16
Head coach's bowl record: Al Golden, 0-1