The bowl season kicks off on December 17 (2pm EST, ESPN) with two 8-4 programs as the Wyoming Cowboys and Temple Owls meet in the sixth annual New Mexico Bowl.
The game takes place at University Stadium on the University of New Mexico campus and will also air nationally on ESPN HD, ESPN3 and ESPN Radio.
"This is a great matchup to kick-off the bowl season and will be a treat for fans in New Mexico and throughout the nation," said Jeff Siembieda, Gildan New Mexico Bowl Executive Director. "To be able to put together a pair of 8-4 teams who have this much talent and are both playing well should make for a fantastic game."
Wyoming, representing the Mountain West Conference, makes its second appearance in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. The Cowboys were two-TD underdogs when they upset Fresno State 35-28 in double-overtime in the 2009 game to 6-6 in the postseason.
"Wyoming was part of what is probably the most exciting game in our bowl’s short history and we are thrilled to be able to invite them back," said Siembieda. "This is a very good football team with a wonderfully passionate fan base; they are first-class all around."
Temple, out of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), is playing in a bowl game for just the fourth time in program history and its first since 2009 when the Owls took on UCLA in the EagleBank Bowl.
The Cowboys were 5-2 in the Mounatin West this season, good enough for a third place finish behind 16th-ranked TCU and No. 8 Boise State. The Owls were 5-3 inconference play to finish second in the East Division of the MAC.
Wyoming ended the regular season winning three of its last four and five of its last seven. Temple flies into the postseason on a three-game win streak.
This will not be the first match-up of these two programs. Wyoming and Temple played in Laramie in 1990 with the Cowboys picking up a 28-23 victory. Temple is 1-2 against current members of the Mountain West with a 1-1 mark against TCU. Wyoming is 6-2 overall versus current MAC affiliates.
The Congrove Computer Rankings project Temple to win by 10.92 points.