WACO, Texas - Baylor has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., marking the first time the school will play in a BCS bowl game.
"Baylor Nation and our football program are honored and energized by the invitation to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl," director of athletics Ian McCaw said. "This is the culmination to a very special year for Baylor football, and we look forward to a great football game on New Year's night."
Baylor, ranked sixth in the AP poll and playing in its program-record fourth straight bowl, will face American Athletic Conference champion UCF (11-1, 8-0 AAC) when the Fiesta Bowl is played at 7:30 p.m. CST on Jan. 1. The game will be televised live nationally on ESPN.
"Our goal heading into Saturday's game was to be able to decide where we would go bowling, and fortunately we had that opportunity and we took advantage of it. We're thrilled to be able to represent the Big 12 Conference at the Fiesta Bowl," head coach Art Briles said. "This bowl is a great matchup between the champions of the Big 12 Conference and the American Athletic Conference. Both universities are deserving and this will set up for a great bowl game."
Baylor (11-1, 8-1 Big 12) concluded its most successful season in school history by compiling a school-record 11 wins, topped off with a 30-10 victory over 23rd-ranked Texas Saturday. That win gave Baylor its first Big 12 championship and the automatic berth in the Fiesta Bowl.
The Bears feature the nation's best offense, which averages 53.3 points per game and 624.5 yards per contest, and a stingy defense, which ranks in the top 20 nationally in both total defense (17th, 344.0 ypg) and scoring (19th, 21.2 ppg).
Baylor is allotted 17,500 tickets for the 2014 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and current Baylor Bear Foundation members and football season ticket holders were required to make their requests by the Dec. 4 priority deadline. The remaining tickets in the Baylor allotment, which are priced at $230 (lower level), $194 (Ring of Honor) and $144 (upper level) are on sale now to all Baylor fans at www.BaylorBears.com/tickets, by calling the Baylor Athletic Ticket Office at 254-710-1000 or in-person at the Ferrell Center box office from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Baylor students may purchase tickets later this week at the Bill Daniel Student Center Ticket Office. Student tickets, which cost $105 each, will be allocated on a first-come, first-serve basis. Plans are being made for BU student bus trips, similar to last year's Holiday Bowl, and details will be forthcoming.
Travel with fellow Bears fans on the Official Baylor Bowl Tour. Anthony Travel, in partnership with Baylor Athletics, Baylor Alumni Network/Baylor Sports Network and the Baylor Bear Foundation, has created official charter and land travel packages for the Bears' trip to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. Individual airfare and car rental assistance are also available.
Travel packages include:
• Hotel accommodations for three nights
• Charter flight departing from Dallas (charter package only)
• Pregame tailgate and pep rally
• Game day transportation
• Transportation to all package events
Visit AnthonyTravel.com for more information on the Official Baylor Bowl Tour.
BAYLOR FOOTBALL NOTES
- Baylor secured its first-ever Big 12 title and sixth conference title in school history (1922, 1924, 1974, 1980 and 1994 in Southwest Conference).
- Baylor earned its first-ever BCS bowl game appearance as the Bears will play in the Fiesta Bowl.
- Baylor has won 15 of its last 16 games and is 11-1 for the first time in school history, setting a new program record for wins in a season.
- Baylor had 8 wins in league play during a season for just the second time in program history -- only other time was BU's 8-0 mark in Southwest Conference play in 1980.
- Baylor's 639 points scored and 85 total touchdowns this season add on to school records – Baylor's 639 points are 14 away from setting a new NCAA mark for points scored in 13 games.
- Baylor set Floyd Casey Stadium records for total season attendance (321,639), season average attendance (45,948) and single-game attendance (51,728 vs. Texas).
- Baylor set new program marks for weeks and consecutive weeks being ranked in the AP Top 25 (15) and AP Top 10 (8).
- Baylor leads the nation in scoring (53.3 PPG) and total offense (624.4 YPG) – both numbers are just shy of setting NCAA records for points (56.0) and yards (624.9).
- Baylor is playing in a bowl game for the 4th straight season for the first time in school history.
- Baylor will be trying to win three straight bowl games for the first time in program history.
- Baylor is 10-9 in its previous 19 bowl appearances.
- Number of records set by Baylor this season: 109
- Baylor is 0-2 in the state of Arizona, after losing a 1990 game to Arizona State, 34-13, in Tempe and to Indiana, 24-0, in the 1991 Copper Bowl in Tucson.
- Baylor is 2-3 all-time on New Year's Day. The Bears last played on the first day of the New Year in 1981 in a 30-2 loss to Alabama in the Cotton Bowl.
- Manning Award finalist Bryce Petty leads the nation in yard per completion (17.47), ranks 2nd in passing efficiency (179.2), 4th in points responsible for per game (20.5), 8th in passing yards per game (320.3) and total yards per game (336.3), 9th in passing TDs (30) and 41st in rushing TDs (11 – 2nd in Big 12).
- Antwan Goodley ranks 7th in the nation in receiving TDs (13) and 9th in receiving yards per game (109.9).
- Lache Seastrunk leads the Big 12 and ranks 23rd in the nation in rushing yards per game (106.0) and ranks 41st in rushing TDs (11 – 2nd in Big 12).
- Aaron Jones leads the NCAA in career PATs made (270), ranks 2nd in career kicking points (447 – most in Big 12 and Baylor history) and leads the nation with 185 consecutive made PATs.
- Cyril Richardson is a finalist for the Outland Trophy.
QUICK FACTS ABOUT TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL
· This year's game will be the 43rd-annual Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.
· The bowl has hosted a team from the Big 12 Conference in each of the last three seasons and six of the last seven.
· Teams representing the Big 12 Conference have won two of the last three Fiesta Bowl games, and the league is a combined 5-5 in the Fiesta Bowl.
· Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and Texas are the only current Big 12 programs to have played in the Fiesta Bowl.
· The 2013 Fiesta Bowl will be televised internationally on ESPN HD as well as heard on ESPN Radio.