The Big 12 Conference and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl have announced a new six-year agreement for the Big 12 to compete in the bowl from 2014-19.
The Big 12 is a new addition to the bowl and will face an opponent from the Southeastern Conference.
"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 AutoZone 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 postseason 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 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. "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 postseason 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. Its rich football history includes five Heisman Trophy winners since the inception of the league in 1996 (tied for the national lead) and 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.
The 55th AutoZone Liberty Bowl game will be played December 31, 2013 at 3:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. To purchase tickets, call the AutoZone Liberty Bowl at (901) 795-7700 or visit www.AutoZoneLibertyBowl.org. Fans who purchase tickets to the 2013 AutoZone Liberty Bowl and are members of the AutoZone Liberty Bowl Festival Association will have first priority to secure seats for the 2014 game.