Dec. 6, 2009
The University of Cincinnati football team, on the heels of its second-consecutive BIG EAST Conference Championship, will play defending National Champion Florida in the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. EST in the Louisiana Superdome.
It's is UC's second-straight New Years Day appearance in a Bowl Championship Series game, and will mark the No. 4 Bearcats' (12-0) first game in New Orleans since the 2002 New Orleans Bowl.
"We've fought all year to get where we are," head coach Brian Kelly said. "To have the chance to represent the University of Cincinnati in a game like the Sugar Bowl that has such great history against an outstanding opponent in Florida is a real honor for our football team. We look forward to a great game in New Orleans on Jan. 1."
UC moved up one spot in the Associated Press poll and USA Today Coaches poll, matching its highest ever ranking at the No. 4 spot. The Bearcats also received their first-ever first-place vote in the USA Today Coaches poll.
The Bearcats knocked off Pittsburgh 45-44 on Saturday, using a 29-yard touchdown pass from Tony Pike to Armon Binns and the ensuing extra point from Jacob Rogers with under a minute left to complete a 21-point comeback that snared UC's second-straight outright BIG EAST crown.
Florida is 12-1 on the season, after falling to Alabama, 32-13, in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Saturday in the Georgia Dome.
Florida head coach Urban Meyer graduated from UC in 1986, earning a football letter in 1984.
The Gators rank No. 3 nationally in scoring defense (11.5), No. 4 in total defense (253.1), and No. 5 in passing efficiency (160.90).
UC leads the nation in passing efficiency (166.19), and ranks sixth nationally in scoring offense (39.8), passing offense (320.3), and total offense (464.3).
UC and Florida have met once before on the gridiron, a 48-17 Gators win in Gainesville on Oct. 20, 1984.
UC is the first BIG EAST team to play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl since West Virginia knocked off Georgia 38-35 on Jan. 2, 2006. BIG EAST teams are 3-3 all time in the Sugar Bowl.