Ole Miss will face Pittsburgh at noon on Jan. 5 at Legion Field in the Compass Bowl, which will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Panthers should know the area and the BBQ joints well. It will be their third-straight trip to the Compass Bowl.
This from SI’s Stewart Mandel on Twitter earlier: RT @simandel Pitt RB Ray Graham yesterday: “Any bowl, except Birmingham. 3 times in a row. I think they may not even allow us in there.”
A quick look at Pitt. The Panthers are 6-6 overall, 3-4 in the Big East. They have wins against Virginia Tech and Rutgers and a notable loss, 29-26, at Notre Dame.
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze said he didn’t talk about it publicly but began thinking about a bowl game after the Rebels broke a 16-game SEC losing streak by beating Auburn 41-20 on Oct. 6.
“In my mind, initially, when we were able to beat Auburn, that gave us a fourth win. I knew we would have a shot at Arkansas and with Vanderbilt and Mississippi State. I thought we were playing a little better football. I didn’t talk about it, but I would not be totally honest if I did not say that’s when, in my mind, I started thinking that, ‘We’ve got a shot here in Year 1 to get to bowl-eligibility.’”
The bowl website lists ticket prices at $50 and $30.
“The commitment we have to sell is 10,000. With our alumni numbers, the proximity, we’re going to push for a stadium record attendance. The record is 42,600 or so. I think we can break that. I think we can hit a home run and break an attendance record for the Compass Bowl,” Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork said.
More from Bjork: “I think it’s great coverage with ESPN, that’s terrific. It’s one of the last bowl games of the season. The Mobile Bowl is a day after that, then the national championship game on Monday night. It’s a great window for us. It’s a Saturday. Fans can travel on Friday and experience Birmingham then drive home after the game. It’s a great location, and the time is ideal.”
Read more at Inside Ole Miss Sports with Parrish Alford