In a way-too-early 2014-15 bowl projection, the Sporting News sees the Hilltoppers going to St. Petersburg to participate in the first edition of the Bitcoin-sponsored St. Petersburg Bowl against the Houston Cougars.
In the projections, a total of five Conference USA teams are predicted to go bowling, including the Tops, with MTSU pegged to go to the Boca Raton Bowl (against Toledo), Texas-San Antonio in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl (against Nevada), Rice in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (against SMU, who always seems to be playing in that Christmas Eve tradition) and Marshall going to the Miami Beach Bowl (against BYU). And, for what it’s worth, ULM, ULL and Arkansas State are projected to represent the Sun Belt (with the Cajuns predicted to go to, you guessed it, the New Orleans Bowl). The article also sees two of WKU’s non-conference opponents, Bowling Green and Navy, going to games as well. If this does indeed turn out to be in anyway factual come November’s end, it isn’t a bad draw for the Tops.
The St. Petersburg Bowl, played in the Tampa Bay Rays home stadium of Tropicana Field, is traditionally a solid mid-major game, and has seen now-BCS Bowl Champion UCF participate twice. Previously, a before-Christmas game, this year’s matchup will be a December 26th game, which is a special date in Hilltopper hearts as that was the same date the Tops played Central Michigan in Detroit two seasons ago. Looking for a bluegrass connection to the game? Louisville beat Southern Miss 31-28 in 2010. Of course, there is a lot (actually, literally all) of football to be played, but it’s always fun to speculate, and my tickets are mentally being bought as of right now.