Cats accept bid to BBVA Compass Bowl

For the fifth consecutive season, the UK football team is going bowling.

The Cats (6-6, 2-6 Southeastern Conference) will face Pittsburgh (7-5, 5-2 Big East) on Jan. 8 in Birmingham, Ala. in the BBVA Compass Bowl.

“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, in a news release. “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.”

UK has played in bowl games in Birmingham twice before, in 1983 and 1984. Current UK head coach Joker Phillips was a part of both of those teams, playing against West Virginia and Wisconsin in what was then the Hall of Fame Bowl.

The game will take place at Legion Field, and is scheduled to be broadcasted by ESPN. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. Eastern time, 11 a.m. Central time. Only the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, on Jan. 9, and the Tostitos BCS National Championship Game, on Jan. 10 are scheduled after the Compass Bowl.

“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, Kentucky Director of Athletics said in the release.  “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.”