If you want all the excitement of playing in sunny Florida with the drab interior of a domed baseball field than the Beef 'O' Brady's bowl is for you! The venue Tropicana field in Tampa Bay Florida. The stadium is home to the Tampa Bay Rays. Set up in 2008 as the "magicJack St. Petersburg Bowl" the contest was quickly picked up by the Beef 'O' Brady's restaurant chain and named "St. Petersburg Bowl Presented by Beef 'O' Brady's".
Since Tropicana Field was originally designed for baseball, the football field runs down the right field line, from home plate to the foul pole
When is was founded the contest was set up between Conference USA and the Big East. With the dissolution of the Big East the bowl was taken over by the American Athletic Conference. Technically it's supposed to be between the sixth ranked team from teh AAC and the fifth ranked team from conference USA. Unless SMU upsets UCF this week it's unlikely that the AAC will have a sixth bowl team.
That means a Backup will be taken from either the MAC or the Sun-Belt. The Belt Belt has two tie ins and will have seven or eight teams that are eligible this season for a bowl game. But placing 7 teams in an eight team conference into bowls has it's costs. Parity does not make for sexy selections. If South Alabama wins this weekend the Belt will have two eight win teams, one seven win team, and four six win teams.
To put that into perspective the MAC has six eligible teams with one each with twelve, ten, nine, eight, seven, and 6 wins.
Last year when an alternate was needed Ball State was selected and played UCF. They were the first MAC team to play in the game but most projections I have seen this season have a MAC team playing again this year.
MAC Beef Bowl Games...