Bowl pleased with Sun Belt affiliation

MOBILE, AL (Mobile Press-Register) - Bowl president Jerry Silverstein said he is pleased with the partnership the game has with the Sun Belt Conference and the possibility of South Alabama playing in the Mobile, Alabama-based bowl in the future.

Silverstein's comments were made during the Sun Belt's annual preseason football media teleconference this week.

"Our relationship with the Sun Belt has been very satisfying and very rewarding to us," Silverstein said. "We make good partners. Commissioner (Wright) Waters has done a good job in bringing that league along, and where we sit in the geographic location in the Sun Belt Conference, having a new Sun Belt Conference football member coming into the league in the next year or so (South Alabama) has really stepped up the excitement in our city."

This season's Bowl will be played on Sunday, Jan. 8, at 8 p.m. on ESPN and will be the only college game televised that day.

The game will match teams from the Sun Belt and Mid-American conferences. Silverstein said as it sets up now, the Bowl will get the first selection from the MAC and second pick from the Sun Belt, but things could change in relation to the New Orleans Bowl, the Sun Belt's other tie-in.

"The New Orleans Bowl has worked very well with us in the past in trying to get the best matchups we can on the field, and the agreement that's in place will allow that to happen," Silverstein said. "Whether the (Sun Belt) champion goes to Mobile or whether the champion goes to New Orleans, there's been very good cohesiveness and progress toward that so we can both succeed in having the best matchup and presenting the country with a great opportunity to see a great football game.