BYU to play inaugural Miami bowl

BYU will play in this year's inaugural Miami Beach Bowl against an American Athletic Conference opponent.

The bowl, created and owned by the AAC, was originally scheduled to pit teams from the American and Conference USA this year. However, the AAC gave C-USA its spot in the Bahamas Bowl and C-USA allowed BYU to take its spot in the Miami Beach Bowl, sources said.

C-USA also recently purchased the Bahamas Bowl and will play in the bowl four times between 2014 to 2019 and possibly all six years, a bowl spokesman told ESPN. In October, when the bowl was announced, C-USA was scheduled to play in it in three of the next six years.

The Miami Beach Bowl will be played the week before Christmas at Marlins Park, home of the Miami Marlins. An exact date has not been determined.

The Miami Beach Bowl will mark the Cougars' first appearance in a Florida bowl in nearly 30 years, since the 1985 Citrus Bowl in Orlando. BYU's only other Florida bowl was the 1976 Tangerine Bowl in Orlando.

BYU also visits the state on Oct. 9, when the Cougars play at UCF on ESPN. BYU's only other Florida appearances have been losses to Florida State in Tallahassee in 2010 and Jacksonville in 2000, and at Miami in 1988. The Cougars are 0-5 in the state of Florida.

BYU has made nine consecutive bowl trips under coach Bronco Mendenhall. That's tied for the nation's 10th-longest current streak.

Since BYU is an independent and not in a conference, the Cougars must make deals to guarantee a bowl berth each season. BYU already has agreements to play in the 2016 and 2018 Poinsettia Bowls against Mountain West opponents.

BYU's bowl agreements are contingent on the Cougars winning at least six games each season. Also, if BYU qualifies for the College Football Playoff or one of the CFB playoffs New Year's six bowls, the Cougars would not play in the Miami Beach game.