UCF to play Baylor in Fiesta Bowl
UCF Nation will converge on the American Southwest this New Year's Day as the Knights are bound for the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
No. 15 UCF (11-1, 8-0) will take on No. 6 Baylor (11-1, 8-1) on Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014 from University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.
Both teams won their respective conferences - the Knights ran the table in the American, while Baylor overcame a loss at Oklahoma State to capture the Big 12.
It's the first BCS bowl game for both and the first Jan. 1 bowl game for the Knights. The pairings were officially revealed Sunday night during ESPN's BCS Selection Show.
During his initial comments, ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit singled out the matchup.
"Even the UCF-Baylor game could be intriguing, with the Knights hearing they don't have a chance for a month," Herbstreit said. "They'll show up irritated, the way George O'Leary likes it."
The Knights' dream season has certainly been exciting - all the way from the 34-31 win against Penn State in Happy Valley all the way to the this past Saturday's 17-13 rally against SMU in frigid Dallas where temperatures were in the mid-20s.
Seven of UCF's 11 wins came by margins of seven points or less. The only loss of the season was a three-point setback to No. 9 South Carolina.
In the statement he made to UCF's official site, UCFKnights.com, UCF President John C. Hitt referenced the nickname that caught on earlier this season.
"Earning a bid to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is an outstanding way to conclude UCF's 50th anniversary year," Hitt said. "Congratulations to George and our 'Cardiac Knights' for their thrilling victories all season.
"I can't wait to see our fans make the trip to Arizona to cheer on the Knights to conclude such a historic year."
UCF is urging fans to purchase bowl tickets directly through the school. The athletic department is on the hook for 17,500 tickets.
The school has set up a page with everything fans need to know about tickets:
From the Ticket Central page:
Five Reasons to Order Bowl Tickets Directly from UCF Athletics
1. Bowl ticket revenue goes to UCF Athletics. Purchasing bowl tickets from UCF directly supports student-athlete resources that create more memorable moments like a Tostitos Fiesta Bowl berth.
2. With many secondary market sellers and scalpers, buying bowl tickets directly from UCF Athletics guarantees a secure, authentic bowl ticket.
3. Purchase your Tostitos Fiesta Bowl tickets directly from UCF Athletics and receive an exclusive 2014 UCF Football Tostitos Fiesta Bowl poster. 2013 or 2014 season ticket holders and Golden Knights Club (GKC) donors also receive a 2013 UCF football commemorative season ticket sheet of each game (note: one gift each per account; season ticket sheet will be included with bowl tickets, poster offer can be redeemed with a voucher at the official UCF Athletics headquarters at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess hotel or UCF Alumni official tailgate party on gameday).
4. Sit with the Black and Gold in UCF's official seating sections.
5. Build UCF's brand with a large, unified following in front of a primetime national television audience.