While Legion Field in Birmingham, Ala. didn't get to host the UAB Blazers like usual, it will reprise its role as the host of the Birmingham Bowl for the 10th time with a matchup between the SEC and American Athletic Conference.
After five years as the Papajohns.com Bowl, the game became the BBVA Compass Bowl for four seasons and is now known only as the Birmingham Bowl.
It'll be a chance for the SEC to make it four-in-a-row after starting with an 0-2 record in the game. After the rough start, the SEC bounced back with dominating victories for Ole Miss and Vanderbilt in 2012 and 2013, respectively, before Florida earned a 28-20 victory over East Carolina last year.
Here is everything you need to know to get ready for this year's Birmingham Bowl:
Date and time: Wed., Dec. 30, 12 p.m. ET
TV channel: ESPN
Location: Birmingham, Ala.
Stadium: Legion Field, 71,594
Last year's score: Florida 28, East Carolina 20
Last year's attendance: 30,083
Last year's TV rating: 3.0
Last year's payout for each school: $1 million
Teams with the most all-time appearances: Pittsburgh, 3
Teams with the most all-time wins: Nine teams, 1
Auburn Tigers (6-6, 2-6 in SEC)
Auburn got back to bowl eligibility with a somewhat surprising win over Texas A&M, and that's always a good thing, but this isn't where the Tigers hoped to be at the beginning of the regular season. Some had Auburn pegged as a national title contender before the season, but after a near loss to FCS Jacksonville State and a blowout loss at LSU, it was clear this Auburn team wasn't close to contending.
Part of the issues came on offense. Quarterback Jeremy Johnson, considered a preseason Heisman contender, played so poorly early on that he was benched for freshman Sean White. Then he won the job back after White underperformed. This offense isn't what it has been under Gus Malzahn.
The defense was looking for a lift under former Florida coach Will Muschamp, but it never got that lift in Muschamp's first season. There is still a lot of work to do, and the Tigers will benefit from having extra practice for the bowl game -- plus possible momentum for next season with a potential bowl win -- but this isn't where Auburn expected to be.
Last bowl game: 2014 season's Outback Bowl (34-31 loss to Wisconsin)
All-time bowl record: 22-15-2
Head coach's bowl record: Gus Malzahn is 0-2 in bowl games, losing the BCS National Championship Game two years ago and the Outback Bowl last year.
Memphis Tigers (9-3, 5-3 in AAC)
So, what happens to Memphis now that coach/savior Justin Fuente is gone? The Tigers lost the man that raised them up from the depths of football obscurity to a top 25 ranking when Virginia Tech tabbed him to take over for legendary coach Frank Beamer on Nov. 29. Fuente had guided the team to their first 10-win season in school history and had a chance to repeat that feat before packing his bags for Blacksburg.
That resurgence isn't just the product of one head coach, however. Quarterback Paxton Lynch has emerged as a potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft after throwing for more than 300 yards per game and posting a sterling 27:3 touchdown:interception ratio. In his last outing, seven of Lynch's nine completions went for touchdowns in a 63-0 rout of SMU. His accuracy and leadership has helped shape Memphis into one of the league's most efficient offenses.
Unfortunately for Lynch, that blowout was Memphis's only win in the month of November. A tough lineup that included Navy, Houston and Temple first squashed the Tigers' New Year's Day Bowl hopes, then knocked them out of the running for an AAC championship. Now they'll get the chance to prove they can win without Fuente on the sideline and begin building towards a new era in western Tennessee.
Last bowl game: 2014 Miami Beach Bowl (55-48 win over BYU)
All-time bowl record: 4-3
Head coach's bowl record: Interim coach Darrell Dickey is 1-3 in bowl games, all with North Texas.