ORLANDO, Fla. - After an official announcement Sunday, No. 15 UCF will face No. 6 Baylor in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl on New Year's Day in Phoenix, marking UCF's first-ever BCS Bowl berth.
BOWL GAMES COMPARED TO MOVIES: UCF vs. BAYLOR
A small crowd gathered at The Moat Sports Grille near campus to watch the BCS Bowl Selection Show, cheering as UCF's final rank was announced. Many students have left campus since finals week is almost over.
Several Knights fans told Local 6 they plan to attend the game in Arizona. Tickets are on sale now at UCFKnights.com, beginning at $105 for students.
UCF Athletics spokesman Andy Seeley said UCF needs to sell 12,000-14,000 tickets, or about 3/4 of the school's allotment to break even. If they don't, UCF could lose money although the American Athletic Conference is expected to give UCF a couple of million dollars-much of which will go to the team's travel expenses.
"Either you're a fan or not. You only get to BCS bowls so often," said UCF Head Coach George O'Leary. "I think any way we can get the fans out there we need to get them out there and I think knowing the fan base and the talk I hear that we will have a great contingency representing UCF in the fan base."
UCF clinched the American Athletic Conference title outright after their win over SMU Saturday, finishing off a record regular season.
"Watching the team progress, it's awesome," said soon-to-be graduate Bryan O'Connor.
The Knights face a tough match-up against No. 6 Baylor, the highest-scoring team this season, but most fans think UCF will give the team a run for their money.
"I think I need to say UCF will win it," said James Bohnsack. "It'll be a tough, heart-attack game. I've had several heart attacks already this season, but I think we can pull it off."
"Earning a bid to the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl is an outstanding way to conclude UCF's 50th anniversary year," said UCF President John Hitt. "Congratulations to George and our ‘Cardiac Knights' for their thrilling victories all season."
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