The bid, an historic fifth consecutive for the football team, comes following an interesting season for the team with so many close games that, had they gone the other way, would have seen Kentucky playing yesterday for the SEC Championship title but it was not to be.
It should be noted that the basketball team plays the same day in Georgia at 4 PM on ESPNU.
Excerpts from the university's press release:
The University of Kentucky football team will be making a school-record fifth-consecutive postseason appearance as the Wildcats have accepted a bid to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl against the University of Pittsburgh.From BBVA Compass:
The game will be on Sat. Jan. 8 at noon EST (11 a.m. CST in Birmingham) at Legion Field. It is the only bowl game of the day and will be nationally televised by ESPN. It will be the first time that Kentucky and Pitt have played in football.
"As we continue to grow our football program at Kentucky, it is our privilege to be invited to the BBVA Compass Bowl," said Mitch Barnhart, UK Director of Athletics. "We are excited to play in Birmingham, the home of the Southeastern Conference office and a historic stadium at Legion Field, and have the opportunity for our players, coaches, families and fans to enjoy a city that has a great football tradition and a place in our nation's history. We look forward to this event and the challenge of playing an outstanding team from the University of Pittsburgh."
Kentucky is extending its school-record bowl streak to five-straight years, one of only 29 teams in the country that have gone to postseason play every year since the 2006 season. UK played in the Music City Bowl in 2006, 2007 and 2009 and the AutoZone Liberty Bowl following the 2008 season. The Wildcats won three of those matchups, defeating Clemson in '06, Florida State in '07 and East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl. UK lost a rematch to Clemson in '09.
Overall, this will be the 15th bowl appearance in school history, with Kentucky carrying an 8-6 record in postseason play. It will be UK's first trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl, although the Wildcats have made two postseason appearances in Birmingham. UK lost to West Virginia, 20-16, in the 1983 Hall of Fame Bowl and defeated Wisconsin, 20-19, in the 1984 Hall of Fame Bowl.
Kentucky has a 6-6 record this season, marking the first time since 1909-13 that the Wildcats have notched at least six wins in five consecutive seasons. Highlights included a season-opening Governor's Cup win at Louisville and a thrilling victory against South Carolina, marking the biggest comeback in school history, as UK rallied from a 28-10 halftime deficit for a 31-28 win.[...]
The appearance in the BBVA Compass Bowl will mark milestones, both past and present, for Kentucky Coach Joker Phillips. This is the first time in school history that a UK head coach has gone to a bowl game in his first season. Phillips will be returning to a familiar site, as he played for the 1983 and '84 teams that played their bowl games in Legion Field.
"It will be a huge challenge and an exciting time for our football program to play in the BBVA Compass Bowl," Phillips said. "I've had a chance to watch Pitt numerous times. Their running attack is very strong and their quarterback (Tino Sunseri) has completed more than 65 percent of his passes.
The Wildcats (6-6, 2-6 SEC) will take on the Pittsburgh Panthers of the BIG EAST Conference in the BBVA Compass Bowl, an ERT owned and operated event, on Saturday, Jan. 8, 2011 at Birmingham's historic Legion Field. The game will be televised by ESPN at 11 a.m. CT.
"We look forward to hosting the University of Kentucky in Birmingham for their fifth consecutive bowl game and their first-ever matchup with the Pitt Panthers," said Mark Meadows, Executive Director of the BBVA Compass Bowl. "We know the players and fans from both teams will enjoy the great hospitality and all of the bowl week events and activities our bowl committee has planned."[...]
Tickets to the 2010 BBVA Compass Bowl will be available at 56 BBVA Compass branch locations throughout North and Central Alabama including those in Birmingham, Huntsville and Montgomery starting Monday, December 6th. Tickets are also available online at www.bbvacompassbowl.com or by calling 800-590-3981. Tickets are priced at $50 each for sideline seating and $30 each for corner seats.
"At BBVA Compass, we want to provide fans an opportunity to participate in what they love," said Chris Ward, BBVA Compass east region retail executive. "We also know from listening to our customers that convenience is one of the most important aspects they want in their banking relationship. So, we are very pleased that for the first time in the history of this bowl fans will have the added convenience of purchasing tickets at BBVA Compass branch locations throughout North and Central Alabama."