Conference USA, which is expanding to 14 members even with four leaving for the Big East in 2013, announced its football schedule and new division alignments Wednesday.
SMU accepted its invitation last week. SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart said the game is a tremendous reward for the school’s players. SMU finished second in Conference USA’s West Division.
SMU has accepted an invitation to play in the Hawaii Bowl. SMU will meet a team from the Mountain West on Christmas Eve at Aloha Stadium.
Central Florida was eyeing a return to Conference USA championship game last year before a 21-point loss at Southern Methodist sent the Knights into a 2-5 tailspin to end the season.
The New Year’s Day bowl game at the Cotton Bowl has a new sponsor. The Heart of Dallas Bowl will debut Jan. 1 with teams from the Big 12 and Big Ten.
This is the last C-USA season for SMU, Houston, Central Florida and Memphis before going to the Big East.
Conference USA seems to be in a perpetual cycle of change. There are five new coaches among the league’s 12 teams.
Hart will replace Steve Orsini, who was fired May 17, a month after SMU hired Hall of Fame basketball coach Larry Brown. Orsini had been SMU’s athletic director since 2006.
Conference USA has announced plans to hold its postseason basketball tournaments in Tulsa in 2013 and in El Paso, Texas, in 2014.
SMU has announced athletic director Steve Orsini has been fired, effective immediately.
Conference USA announced Friday that it is adding five new schools in 2013.
University of Texas System regents have approved letting UT-San Antonio move to Conference USA in 2013.