BIRMINGHAM, Ala. | The Papajohns.com Bowl could feature a Southeastern Conference team the next two seasons.
The NCAA approved recertification of the bowl Wednesday, and the Dec. 29 game now has a tie-in with the hometown SEC. The 2-year-old bowl had matched teams from Conference USA and the Big East.
Conference USA moves to a new bowl against the Big East in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Papajohns.com Bowl has a two-year deal to receive the SEC's lowest bowl-eligible team. That gives the league nine automatic bowl berths — if the SEC has that many eligible teams. If not, the Birmingham game will have to find an at-large team.
South Carolina was bowl eligible last season but sat out the postseason when the SEC filled its eight slots.
The switch to the SEC will cost fans a few bucks, though: Ticket prices will go up from $30 to $40.