The Michigan football team will head to Florida for the New Year.
The Outback Bowl announced Sunday that No. 19 Michigan (8-4) will face No. 11 South Carolina (10-2) of the Southeastern Conference at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
“We are excited to represent the Big Ten in the Outback Bowl,” Michigan coach Brady Hoke said Sunday in a release.
“The Outback Bowl organization and those associated with the Tampa community run an outstanding bowl game. They made my final game as an assistant coach at Michigan (in 2002) a very enjoyable and memorable experience."
Hoke will address the media at 2 p.m. today at Schembechler Hall in Ann Arbor.
“When you play a team with the stature, and the tradition and reputation of the University of Michigan, it’s something special,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier told reporters Sunday in Columbia, S.C. “This is the first time I’ve ever had the chance to compete against them.”
Michigan’s bowl berth came a day after Wisconsin’s 70-31 drubbing of Nebraska on Saturday in the Big Ten championship game.
Many anticipated that Michigan would play in the Capital One Bowl in Orlando, Fla., but that would have been a lock had Nebraska won the Big Ten title. Instead, Wisconsin’s win — it’s third Big Ten title in three years — earned the Badgers an automatic berth to the Rose Bowl and resulted in some reshuffling.
Capital One Bowl officials announced Sunday that Nebraska will face Georgia in the New Year’s Day bowl.
Northwestern — which Michigan defeated 38-31 in overtime on Nov. 10 in Ann Arbor, a game that helped seal Michigan’s bid to the Outback Bowl — will face Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1 in Jacksonville, Fla.
“We heard the rumors about Northwestern, either in the Outback or maybe in the Gator [bowls],” Spurrier said. “We knew it was one or the other, and it just worked out.”
The New Year’s Day matchup will be the third meeting between Michigan and South Carolina; Michigan defeated South Carolina 34-3 in the last meeting between the two teams on Sept. 21, 1985, in Columbia, S.C., and lost to the Gamecocks 17-14 on Sept. 27, 1980, at Michigan Stadium.
Michigan is 20-21 in bowl games, and the Outback Bowl will be Michigan’s 42nd bowl appearance, the most in college football.
Michigan will make its fifth appearance in the Outback Bowl, and is 3-1 in the bowl game, formerly known as the Hall of Fame Bowl.
This will be the second time in 10 years that Michigan has played in the Outback Bowl.
Michigan defeated Florida 38-30 in the 2003 Outback Bowl under Lloyd Carr.
Michigan’s ticket office will start selling tickets to the Outback Bowl at 8:30 a.m. today.
Contact Rachel Lenzi at: email@example.com, 419-724-6510 or on Twitter @RLenziBlade.