The Bowling Green Falcons and Pitt Panthers have each accepted invitations to the 2013 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
The Bowl was founded as the Ford Motor City Bow in 1997 and simply as the name "Motor City Bowl" from 1998 until 2009. It's a great venue as Ford Field is home to the NFL's Detroit Lions, and played host to Super Bowl XL. The Bowl features a bowl-eligible team from the Mid-American Conference and the 9th bowl-eligible team from the Big Ten Conference.
Usually the Big Ten is short on Bowl Eligible teams and when that happens the Sun Belt conference sends one of their squads. This season despite a pool of candidates from the Sun Belt the Bowl reached out to 6-6 Pittsburgh who was without a bowl this season.
There were reports that the Sun Belt even offered to front the Little Caesars bowl cash to take one of the Belt's seven eligible teams.
Commissioner Karl Benson: The Sun Belt offered money to bowls in both Detroit and Shreveport to take conference teams, but neither did.— Tim Buckley (@TDARaginCajuns) December 9, 2013
And from the horses mouth... errr Pen
Statement from Sun Belt Conference Commissioner Karl Benson > Sun Belt Conference
And during the past several weeks, I have been in discussions and negotiations with all the bowls that might be open. Specifically, the Sun Belt targeted the AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl and Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl and was in negotiations with both up until final decisions were made.
The Sun Belt Conference Presidents and Chancellors authorized me two weeks ago to use Sun Belt funds at my discretion to entice both bowls to take a Sun Belt team. As a result, the Sun Belt made very significant financial offers to both bowls that clearly exceeded anything the Sun Belt has done in previous years.
I am extremely disappointed, that while our efforts were very aggressive, we ended up not being able to place more than two of our bowl eligible teams – especially Western Kentucky University with an 8-4 record.
Last season Western Kentucky lost a 24-21 decision to Central Michigan. This year they finished third in the Sun Belt but their 8-4 season included a win over SEC in state rival Kentucky.
Pitt's 6 wins included a strong game against then #23 Notre Dame. That, and the other factors which go into bowl game selection ***COUGH*** MONEY *** COUGH *** were enough to nudge the belt from it's position as the Bowl's fall back conference.
Bowling Green comes in 10-3 and the Champions of the Mid American Conference after dispatching NIU.