You may have not watched the Independence Bowl this year but you probably will next year. BTW, Georgia won 44-20 over Texas A&M. This bowl has typically pitted teams from the SEC and Big 12 that spot unimpressive records. Georgia was 7-5 and Texas A&M was 6-6 coming into the game.
Starting next year the Independence Bowl will feature Mountain West #3 vs ACC #7. This means that the Humanitarian Bowl is no longer affiliated with the Mountain West. Right now the 2010 bowl lineup for the Mountain West looks like this:
Las Vegas Bowl - Versus PAC 10
Poinsettia Bowl - Versus PAC 10
Independence Bowl - Versus ACC
Armed Forces Bowl - Versus C-USA
New Mexico Bowl - Versus WAC*
*The Mountain West renewed their agreement with the New Mexico Bowl through 2013 but no extension has been made with the WAC yet. Hopefully they will look elsewhere.
The Independence Bowl sold out this year and the stadium really was packed. Usually ESPN only shows certain segments of the crowd to make it look larger but not the case here. They showed wide panoramic views of the stadium and every seat was filled.
The City of Shreveport really supports the Independence Bowl and it is a major event in the city. Locals always come out to the game and since 2001 they've never had less than 41,000 in attendance. In the last 20 years the lowest attendance was 31, 337 in a 1992 matchup that included Oregon and Wake Forest. This year each team was required to buy 12,000 tickets each. 25,000 tickets were sold locally. The Aggies sold all their tickets while Georgia had sold 5,500 as of December 19th.
Today's game game started at 5pm EST which is 3pm MST. Hopefully they can move the time back a couple hours let the MWC fans watch the game. They probably played it early today so that it didn't compete with Monday Night Football. Today was December 28th but the Independence Bowl has been played anywhere from December 27th to New Years Eve. All of those dates are weekdays next year expect December 31st which is a Friday. Having a game this far from most Mountain West schools could make it hard for fans to travel that far for a weekday game. Obviously TCU fans could easily make it to Shreveport but they hope to play in another BCS game next year.
Playing a team from the ACC would be a nice change of pace for the Mountain West and the ACC has a lot of teams on the upswing. Florida State finished 6-6 this year for the #7 spot but the conference has a lot of depth. Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Miami, Clemson, Boston College and North Carolina are all quality programs that get a lot of national coverage. A #3 vs #3 match up would be ideal but it should be a good game and grab some headlines for both teams.