Liberty Bowl Wraps Up Big 12

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Memphis, TN-The AutoZone Liberty Bowl and Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby announced today a new six-year agreement between the AutoZone Liberty Bowl and the Big 12 Conference. The new agreement will include the 2014 through 2019 college football seasons. The Big 12 is a new addition to the Bowl’s line-up. The opponent for the Big 12 in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be the Southeastern Conference. Thus, the AutoZone Liberty Bowl will be featuring two of the top conferences in college football.

“The Big 12 and its member institutions are thrilled to be partnered with the AutoZone Liberty Bowl,” commented Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. “With 55 years of history and tradition, the Auto Zone Liberty Bowl has staked a rich place within the college football landscape.  We look forward to Memphis being a part of the Big 12’s post-season footprint, and the annual matchup vs. an SEC opponent.”

The AutoZone Liberty Bowl will have the fourth selection of Big 12 teams after the College Football Playoff. Over the AutoZone Liberty Bowl’s 55-year history, five Big 12 teams have played in the bowl game, including Iowa State that played in the 2012 contest.

“We are excited and proud to welcome the Big 12 Conference to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl,” said Steve Ehrhart, Executive Director of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl. “Our new partnership with the Big 12 gives the AutoZone Liberty Bowl the opportunity to showcase two of America’s outstanding universities each year and generate a huge economic impact for our community.”

The Big 12, one of the most successful all-sports conferences in the country, has claimed team national championships in 16 different sports in the last 17 years. In football, the Conference ranks second nationally with seven appearances in the BCS National Championship Game. The Big 12 sent a national-record 90 percent of its teams to post-season bowl games last year, the highest percentage in college football history. The Big 12 has averaged four teams ranked in the final AP Top 25 Poll each year of the    Conference’s existence. The Big 12’s rich football history includes five Heisman Trophy winners since the inception of the conference in 1996 (tied for the national lead). The Conference has had a Heisman finalist in 12 of its 17 seasons, the most of any league.

“The Big 12 has an impressive football tradition and is synonymous with excellence. We look forward to hosting Big 12 universities and their thousands of loyal, dedicated fans for many years,” said Ehrhart.