The Iowa State Cyclones will square off in a season rematch against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane in the 54th AutoZone Liberty Bowl on Monday, December 31, 2012 at 3:30 p.m. EST. The game will be televised by ESPN.
Iowa State defeated Tulsa 38-23 in its home opener. The teams had met only once before the bookend games this season - a 27-6 Iowa State win in 1961. They are scheduled to meet in Tulsa on September 21 next season.
This is the first time since 1929 that Tulsa has had two rematches within the same season. That year, Tulsa faced Phillips University twice and Oklahoma City University twice.
In addition to its rematch with Iowa State this season, the Golden Hurricane (10-3, 7-1) became the Conference USA Champions by defeating UCF twice in Tulsa within 3 weeks at the end of the season. Sandwiched in between those two wins was Tulsa's only conference loss, a 35-27 setback to this year's Hawaii Bowl-winning SMU squad.
Iowa State (6-6, 3-6) finished 9th out of 10 teams in the Big Twelve.
The Cyclones will be marking the 40th anniversary of their first and only appearance in the Liberty Bowl in 1972. The Cyclones played Georgia Tech in the 1972 under the tutelage of Johnny Majors.
This will also be Tulsa’s second trip to the Liberty Bowl after defeating Fresno State 31-24 in the 2005 edition of this postseason classic.
Iowa State is just 3-8 overall in bowl games while Tulsa sports an 8-10 bowl record. Both teams lost their respective bowl games a year ago with Iowa State falling 27-13 to Rutgers in the Pinstripe Bowl at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, and Tulsa dropping a 24-21 decision to BYU in the Armed Forces Bowl at Ft. Worth.
Tulsa ranks 25th in total offense, but 11th in rushing. Iowa State ranks 90th on offense.
Tulsa also has the statistical advantage in defense rankings. The Golden Hurricane are 32nd in total defense while the Cyclones rank 99th.
The Congrove Computer Rankings at CollegeFootballPoll.com spot Tulsa a 0.68-point advantage for the third-tightest margin of all 35 postseason games.