The Eastern Michigan Eagles are going bowling.
The Eastern Michigan University football team (7-5, 4-4 MAC) will play against Liberty University (7-5) in the 23rd annual LendingTree Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 18, at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile, and Ala. Kickoff will be at 5:45 p.m. Those wishing to watch can catch the action on ESPN.
This will mark the second meeting between Eastern Michigan and Liberty. The last time the two met was on Oct. 14, 1989, when Liberty pulled off a stellar 25-24 upset on Eastern Michigan at Rynearson Stadium. That was when Liberty was still a member of the Football Championship Subdivision ranks (FCS).
It will be the fourth time in the last six seasons that the Eagles will appear in a bowl game. It is also the third consecutive season that Eastern Michigan has earned bowl eligibility.
The past three postseason appearances for the Eagles have been quite hectic. In the 2016 Bahamas Bowl, the Eagles fell short, 24-20, to Old Dominion. In 2018 Georgia Southern produced a heartbreak with a game-winning field goal to beat Eastern Michigan, 23-21, at the Camellia Bowl. Most recently, Pittsburgh came back with 47 seconds left to defeat Eastern Michigan, 34-30, in the 2019 Quick Lane Bowl at Ford Field.
This season will be the first appearance of Eastern Michigan in the LendingTree Bowl, but also the first appearance at the Frisco Classic Bowl.
According to Wilton Jackson from Sports Illustrated and the NCAA, this year the NCAA announced that they will add a one-time replacement bowl game for this year’s bowl season. This came after the Division I Football Oversight Committee approved a request to waive the April 1 bowl game certification application.
Prior to the Committee's vote, the bowl system consisted of 41 games with 82 teams to fill all necessary spots. This year's bowl season will now include 42 games and allow for all 84 bowl-eligible teams to participate.
The San Francisco Bowl usually is a matchup between the Pac-12 and the Big Ten, but this year they told the NCAA they will not hold a bowl game. That decision prompted Conference USA (C-USA), the Mid-American Conference (MAC) and the Mountain West Conference (MWC) to push the committee to make adjustments to the bowl system.
Tickets for the LendingTree Bowl will be available on Monday, Dec. 6, at 8:30 a.m. Tickets can be ordered online through EMUEagles.com or by calling 734-487-3669.
For more information on the Eastern Michigan football team and their bowl game, visit EMUEagles.com.