NEW ORLEANS and MOBILE – The Mid-American Conference and Sun Belt Conference have entered into a primary bowl partnership with the GMAC Bowl beginning next season and running through the 2013 football season. The announcement was made Tuesday prior to the GMAC Bowl’s annual Kickoff Luncheon in Mobile.
“We are very excited to extend our relationship with the GMAC Bowl,” said Mid-American Conference Commissioner Dr. Jon Steinbrecher. “Our institutions and student athletes have had great experiences over the last nine years in Mobile. We value the leadership of Jerry Silverstein and his staff and look forward to enjoying the City of Mobile and its hospitality the next four years.”
“We are very excited to enter this relationship with the GMAC Bowl because it represents one of the most significant steps in our league’s history,” said Sun Belt Commissioner Wright Waters. “We look forward to this partnership with the GMAC Bowl, its outstanding leadership and staff, as well as the city of Mobile.” “We are excited about the brand of football the Sun Belt Conference and Mid-American Conference will bring to Mobile,” said GMAC Bowl President Jerry Silverstein. “The MAC has been a great partner since 2001 and we are very happy the relationship will continue. The proximity of the Sun Belt Conference in New Orleans and the geographic location of the schools make a natural fit for our bowl game.”
The four year partnership with the GMAC Bowl will call for the MAC to provide its No. 1 selection in 2011 and 2013 and its No. 2 selection in 2010 and 2012 after the Bowl Championship Series. A Sun Belt team will represent the league in the game following the 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013 regular seasons and the GMAC Bowl will have first or second selection after the Bowl Championship Series and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
The Troy Trojans will play in the GMAC Bowl on January 6 against Mid-American Conference Champion Central Michigan. CMU’s trip to Mobile is its fourth consecutive bowl appearance and first in the GMAC Bowl. The 11-2 Chippewas made three straight appearances in the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (2006-08) prior to this year’s invitation to Mobile.
Troy’s invitation to the in-state bowl game makes the Trojans the first team from the state of Alabama to ever play in an Alabama bowl game. Troy was selected as an at-large participant in this season’s edition of the game.
The 11th Annual GMAC Bowl will kickoff at 6:00 P.M (CST) January 6th 2010, at Ladd Peebles Stadium. ESPN will broadcast the game nationally.