- The Washington Times - Monday, December 7, 2009

Missouri announced Sunday that its football team will face off against Navy in the Texas Bowl on Dec. 31 in Houston.

The Texas Bowl had the final selection of teams from the Big 12, and once the Insight Bowl passed over Missouri (8-4) for Iowa State (6-6), the faceoff with Navy (8-4) at Reliant Stadium was set.

Missouri is 2-0 all-time against Navy, with the last meeting in 1961 at the Orange Bowl, where the Tigers defeated the Midshipmen 21-14 to cap an 11-0 season.

The Texas Bowl kicks off at 3:30 p.m. and will be televised on ESPN.

CHICK-FIL-A: No. 12 Virginia Tech of the ACC will face Tennessee from the Southeastern Conference.

Bowl officials said the Hokies (9-3) and Volunteers (7-5) will meet Dec. 31 at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta. The two teams last met in the 1994 Gator Bowl, which the Vols won 45-23.

Virginia Tech played in the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2006, losing to Georgia, and is making its fourth appearance in the bowl. It will be Tennessee’s fifth appearance; most recently the Vols lost to Clemson in 2004.

Tennessee is 25-22 in bowl games and ranks third in the nation in appearances. Virginia Tech is 8-14 in bowl games.

The Vols return to the postseason in Lane Kiffin’s first season as coach and after an unusual absence last season. The Hokies are playing in their third straight bowl.

GATOR: Bobby Bowden will coach his final game at Florida State on New Year’s Day.

Bowl officials said Florida State will play 18th-ranked West Virginia, the school Bowden left in 1976 to come to Florida State. The Seminoles began their 28-year streak of bowl games in 1982 when they defeated the Mountaineers 32-12 at the Gator Bowl.

Under normal circumstances, Florida State likely would have fallen to a lower bowl with its 6-6 record, but the possibility of keeping Bowden in Florida for his final game matched against his former school was too much for the Gator Bowl to ignore.

The 80-year-old Bowden announced Tuesday he would retire after the Seminoles’ bowl game. Florida State is 5-0-1 in the Gator Bowl, including two wins over West Virginia.

Gator Bowl chairman Dan Murphy said bowl officials immediately jumped to Florida State when they learned of Bowden’s plans to retire.

MEINEKE: A day after a heartbreaking loss cost it a BCS bid, No. 17 Pittsburgh accepted an invitation to play North Carolina at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 26.

EMERALD: Southern California will face Boston College on Dec. 26 at AT&T; Park in San Francisco. This will mark USC’s first appearance in the bowl.

OUTBACK: Northwestern and Auburn will meet for the first time in Tampa, Fla., on New Year’s Day.

Northwestern is seeking its first postseason win since the 1949 Rose Bowl.

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