Fiesta Bowl Matchup: Baylor vs. UCF in first-ever BCS bowl

Stephen Dunn

What we pretty much knew but didn't really know for sure is now official: the Baylor Bears will take on the UCF Knights, led by Blake Bortles, in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.

Your Baylor Bears will now officially face off against the Central Florida Knights on January 1, 2014 in Glendale, Arizona in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.  If you haven't already, start planning your trips and buying your tickets accordingly.  From what we've heard already, pickings are pretty slim in the hotel department.

Our friends over at the mothership are already previewing the game very generally for interested in a look nearly 4 weeks out.  We're going to wait a little while longer here at ODB before wading into those waters in order to savor the Big 12 Championship our fanbase waited so long to earn.  I will say, since I've gotten more than a few questions about this, that we are playing UCF because they qualified for an automatic bid to the BCS by winning the American Conference (the former Big East), and the Fiesta Bowl had the last pick this year among the 4 bowls.  So when others (Sugar, Rose, and Orange) took teams like OU and Alabama with their at-large and replacement selections, UCF fell by default to the Fiesta.  That's not a slight against UCF at all; it's the way the system works.

Please note: UCF is NOT the Golden Knights and has not been for nigh a decade.  They are the Knights.  This is apparently a big deal to them.

The rest of the 2013-2014 (I'm calling this the 2014 Fiesta Bowl because it will be played in 2014) BCS slate unfolds as follows:

BOWL DATE LOCATION alignment matchup
BCS Title Game Jan. 6 Pasadena, Calif.. BCS vs BCS Florida St. Seminoles vs. Auburn Tigers
Orange Jan. 3 Miami, Fla. ACC/BCS vs BCS Clemson Tigers vs. Ohio St. Buckeyes
Sugar Jan. 2 New Orleans, La. SEC/BCS vs BCS Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners
Fiesta Jan. 1 Glendale, Ariz. Big 12/BCS vs BCS Baylor Bears vs. UCF Knights
Rose Jan. 1 Pasadena, Calif. Big Ten/BCS vs Pac-12/BCS Michigan St. Spartans vs. Stanford Cardinal

We'll never know for sure why/how Oklahoma managed to squeak out a second BCS bid for the Big 12, but we can probably guess.  Next year, in the new bowl alignment outside the CFB Playoff, the Sugar Bowl becomes aligned with the SEC and the Big 12.  By taking Oklahoma now rather than, say, Oregon, they're simply starting the arrangement a year early to build rapport.  It makes perfect sense in the typical "this is a football game that isn't really about football" way of bowls.

The Big 12's Complete Bowl Schedule:

Saturday, December 28
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl; Tempe, Ariz.
Kansas St. Wildcats vs. Michigan Wolverines (ESPN), 9:15 p.m. CT

Monday, December 30
Valero Alamo Bowl; San Antonio, Texas
Texas Longhorns vs. Oregon Ducks (ESPN), 5:45 p.m. CT

National University Holiday Bowl; San Diego, Calif.
Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. Arizona St. Sun Devils (ESPN), 9:15 p.m. CT

Wednesday, January 1
Tostitos Fiesta Bowl; Glendale, Ariz.
Baylor Bears vs. Central Florida  Knights (ESPN), 7:30 p.m. CT

Thursday, January 2
Allstate Sugar Bowl; New Orleans, La.
Oklahoma Sooners vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (ESPN), 7:30 p.m. CT

Friday, January 3
AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic; Dallas, Texas
Oklahoma St. Cowboys vs. Missouri Tigers (FOX), 7:00 p.m. CT

Wow ... we might be favored to win 2 of those games.

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