Southern Miss and Mississippi State each landed bowl bids on Sunday.
The Golden Eagles (6-6) will meet Louisiana-Lafayette in the New Orleans Bowlat 8 p.m on Dec. 17 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Despite a sub .500 record, Mississippi State will face Miami-Ohio in the St. Petersburg Bowl at 10 a.m. on Dec. 26.
Southern Miss will be playing in its fifth New Orleans Bowl, holding a 3-1 record.
USM holds a commanding 38-11-1 series lead over ULL. The Golden Eagles won their last meeting, 51-21 in 2008.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Sun Herald
“I am extremely proud of the 2016 Golden Eagle football team and very excited to get the invitation to play in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl,” Southern Miss coach Jay Hopson said in a statement. “It is a great destination bowl and the Golden Eagle football family is excited to continue our season in the City of New Orleans.”
The Bulldogs (5-7) are one of two teams without six bowl-eligible wins to earn a berth based on their solid Academic Progress Rate rankings, along with North Texas. MSU earned a bowl bid for the seventh straight year, all under coach Dan Mullen.
MSU makes its 20th all-time bowl appearance and one of only five SEC schools to go bowling every season this decade.
“We are thrilled to finish the season in St. Petersburg,” Mullen said in a statement. “This is a great opportunity for one of the winningest senior classes in school history and for our program to build momentum for 2017. It also speaks volumes of our student-athletes for their commitment in the classroom to qualify for a bowl based on our successful APR.”
The St. Petersburg Bowl will be the final game at MSU for linebacker Richie Brown, a former Long Beach standout.