History: Yet another new bowl game, the New Orleans bowl has been played in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans since 2001. That’s not entirely correct since the name changed, but we’ll roll with it for now. The game has been sponsored by R+L Carriers since 2006, after Wyndham Hotels and Resorts gave up sponsorship. The game regularly pits Conference USA against the Sun Belt, a condition that was not surprisingly satisfied this year.
Louisiana-Lafayette: The RAGIN’ CAJUNS had a reasonably successful 8-4 season this year. They finished second in the Conference USA behind Arkansas State (who they lost to 50-27), and played a few good teams including Oklahoma State (65-24 L) and Florida (27-20 L). RAGIN’ CAJUNS Quarterback Terrance Broadway is a solid dual-threat player who has passed for 2526 yards and 16 touchdowns, while also running for 661 yards and 8 touchdowns with a 6.4 yard per carry average.
Buckeye Connection: The Buckeyes have never faced the RAGIN’ CAJUNS on the football field, but I’m sure most Buckeye fans are quite enamored with the RAGIN’ CAJUNS mascot. It’s the RAGIN’ CAJUN-est! (You’ve successfully caught my drift, yes?)
East Carolina: The Pirates were also blessed by a solid 8-4 year. They finished second in the East Division of CUSA (behind UCF) and played a few games against quality opponents, such as South Carolina and North Carolina. Quarterback Shane Carden is an excellent passer, hitting 2800 yards and 21 touchdowns. His favorite target is Justin Hardy who has more than 1000 yards on 83 receptions this year.
Buckeye Connection: East Carolina has never played the Buckeyes in football.
This is an interesting matchup. East Carolina was once a mid-major to keep an eye on, but they’ve fallen off a bit of late since Skip Holtz left for different (though not necessarily greener) pastures. East Carolina did not beat anyone of note this year, and got killed by Central Florida and a mediocre Navy team. They also beat Appy State, which means that you want to root against them, because if you root for a team that beat Appy State you clearly hate AMERICA.