ESPN’s Brett McMurphy tweeted today that BYU will be playing an American Athletic Conference team in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl for the 2014 season.
Here’s the actual tweet from McMurphy:
BYU will play AAC team in inaugural Miami Beach Bowl in Dec., sources told @ESPN
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 28, 2014
There has been a lot of speculation as to what BYU’s post-season destination would be in 2014, this agreement with the new Miami Bowl would finally put that to rest.
Nothing has been announced from BYU or the Miami Bowl about the partnership yet. Many thought that BYU would hold out till the end of the regular season to see if any “Big 5” conference teams would fail to qualify for one of their many bowl tie-ins; allowing BYU a chance to fill in the gap. But BYU took the wise approach and signed a deal with a bowl before the season started, which is what we can always expect while the Cougars are an independent.
The post-season landscape is much different this upcoming season with the new playoff era upon us and all the tie-ins with “Big 5” conferences into games. The bowl picture looked bleak for BYU heading into this year with very few options, but the Miami Beach Bowl provides a nice spot for the independent Cougars.
Playing an AAC team will also be exciting. If the Cougars aren’t going to face a team from one of the Big 5 conferences, members of the AAC are the next best thing.
The AAC is in transition mode yet again this upcoming season. The league loses Louisville to the ACC, but adds East Carolina, Tulane, and Tulsa as full members.
The Miami Beach Bowl will be played at Marlins Park, home of the MLB’s Miami Marlins, the week before Christmas this December.
BYU has no bowl tie-in for 2015 season, but is headed to the Poinsettia Bowl in 2016 & 2018.