For the fourth time in six seasons, the Air Force Falcons will play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas. Every year, either a team from the Mountain West Conference (typically Air Force) or one of the other eligible service academies (Army and Navy) take on a team from the Conference USA, unless ineligibility is an issue. In that case, another school like BYU can be asked to participate -- the Cougars played in the 2011 iteration of the Bowl against Tulsa.
This season's Armed Forces Bowl will feature the 6-6 Rice Owls as the representative from CUSA. Air Force has the experience, tied for the most appearances in the bowl since it was founded 10 years ago, but the Falcons are also tied for the worst record with only a single win in their three appearances. (The Houston Cougars also have three appearances with only a single win. Interestingly, Air Force's only win came against the Cougars in 2009.) 2012 will be Rice's first appearance in the bowl, and their first bowl since 2008. It will also be only their third bowl appearance since 1961.
Both teams barely scraped into Bowl eligibility this season, with the Owls needing a four-game winning streak to close out the season, beating UTEP in their last game. The Falcons clinched their sixth win in their second to last game of the season when they beat Hawaii.
Game date and time
December 29, 11:45 a.m. ET
Amon Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
Air Force opened favored by 1½-point, but have since become a 3-point favorite.
ESPN, Armed Forces Network
Last year’s game
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