Boise State Liberty bound

Updated: November 30, 2004, 11:47 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

Boise State (No. 10 ESPN/USA Today, No. 11 AP) is poised to accept a bid to face Louisville the Liberty Bowl on Tuesday, ESPN.com's Pat Forde has learned.

The game, to be played Dec. 31 in Memphis, Tenn., could end up one of the best matchups of the Bowl season, with both teams knocking on the door for a BCS Bowl appearance.

Boise State (11-0), the winner of the WAC, will face Louisville (9-1), already the champion of Conference USA with a game left at Tulane this Saturday. The Cardinals (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today; No. 7 AP) accepted their bid to Memphis after a 70-7 dismantling of Cincinnati.

"I'm excited to go to the Liberty Bowl," Louisville's Montrell Jones said. "The closer you can play to New Year's Day, the better."

West Virginia: West Virginia received a bid to the Gator Bowl on Monday after losing its last two regular-season games.

It will be the second straight trip to the Jan. 1 game in Jacksonville, Fla., Mountaineers (8-3, 4-2). They will face a team from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The Mountaineers were the front-runners to earn the Big East's guaranteed Bowl Championship Series bid before their 36-17 loss to Boston College two weeks ago. West Virginia ended the regular season with 16-13 loss to Pittsburgh on Thanksgiving night.

Last year, West Virginia lost to Maryland 41-7 in the Gator Bowl. The Mountaineers have lost all four of their Gator Bowl appearances, and 10 of their last 11 bowl games overall, dating back to the 1987 Sun Bowl.

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