Congratulations, Pittsburgh! You haven't been sent to Birmingham this year! The Panthers went to the BBVA Compass Bowl in each of the last three seasons, and now they'll get a welcome change of scenery. They'll also get a tough matchup in Bowling Green, which is coming off a MAC championship.
The Panthers had their issues on the defensive side during the regular season, and that will be something to watch considering that Bowling Green is averaging 6.7 yards per play. The Falcons have an efficient passer and a quality running back, which makes them a challenging matchup.
Rankings and records: Pittsburgh finished the regular season 6-6 (3-5 in the ACC). Bowling Green is 10-3 (7-1 in the MAC). Neither team is ranked. These two teams have met three times, and Pitt holds a 2-1 edge.
Vegas: Bowling Green opened as a 5.5-point favorite, while the over/under opened at 49.
Weather: Cold outside, but pleasant inside Ford Field.
Three names to know
Aaron Donald -- The Bronco Nagurski, Outland, Bednarik and Lombardi award winner has been one of the most disruptive defensive linemen in the country. He has 10 sacks, and 26.5 tackles for loss.
Travis Greene -- Greene is second in the MAC to Jordan Lynch with 1,555 rushing yards this season, and he also has 11 rushing scores. He will be the focal point of a Bowling Green offense that averages about 207 rushing yards per game and probably will be running away from Donald a lot.
Matt Johnson -- He may have been overshadowed a bit by some more prolific quarterbacks in the MAC, but nobody had a higher passer rating than Johnson. He averaged an impressive 9.5 yards per attempt during the regular season while throwing 23 touchdowns against seven interceptions.
Two things at stake
PIttsburgh's transition to the ACC didn't go terribly, but it also wasn't anything resembling a breakthrough for Paul Chryst, who is in his second season as the head coach. A victory here would guarantee the program's first winning season since 2010 and end a two-game losing streak in bowls. That's no breakthrough either, but it is a start.
Bowling Green can win 11 games for the second time in the last 10 years. The Falcons have already won the MAC title, putting an end to Northern Illinois' BCS hopes in the process, so the rest is gravy.
How to witness
TV: ESPN, 6 p.m. ET