SMU to go bowling on its own campus

ORLANDO, Fla. -- SMU has officially accepted a bid to play in the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl played at Gerald J. Ford Stadium, which is located on its own campus.

The Mustangs will face Army at 11 a.m. CT on Dec. 30 on ESPN. It is the second consecutive bowl game for SMU after not playing in the postseason for 25 years.

"We are very proud to be playing in a postseason bowl game for the second straight season," SMU athletic director Steve Orsini said in a release. "We are also very excited to be playing in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl on our home field. This is a very unique opportunity that affords our fans the chance to cheer us on at Gerald J. Ford Stadium and will also provide a tremendous game-day atmosphere for our student-athletes."

After SMU's 17-7 loss to UCF in the Conference USA championship game, Mustangs head coach June Jones was asked about playing Army.

"We'll have our hands full," Jones said. "We'll have to play a real physical game against Army. At least we have extra weeks to prepare."

SMU is 7-5 and is playing at home because the Armed Forces Bowl is not at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth this year. That facility is undergoing a renovation. Part of it will be demolished Sunday morning.

Army is 6-5 and finishes its season with Navy in the traditional rivalry in Philadelphia next Saturday. It's the first time the Black Knights have been bowl eligible since 1996, when they lost to Auburn in the Independence Bowl.

Richard Durrett covers colleges for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.