UNITED STATES MILITARY ACADEMY vs. SMU – For the fourth straight year, the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will feature a service academy in its post-season game as the United States Military Academy will play SMU in the 2010 contest at Gerald J. Ford Stadium in Dallas on December 30. As the “official bowl game that honors all branches of the United States armed forces”, the 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will air at 11 a.m. (CST) on ESPN and ESPN Radio.
Owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television, Inc. (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN, the last three Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowls featured the United States Air Force Academy as the Falcons played Cal of the Pac-10 in 2007 and Houston of Conference USA in 2008 and 2009.
SMU will be playing in its second-straight post-season
contest and 13th overall as the Mustangs have posted a 5-6-1 bowl record after winning the 2009 Hawai’i Bowl by defeating Nevada 45-10 in Honolulu. The 7-6 Mustangs tied for the C-USA West Division title with a 6-2 league mark and advanced to the league’s championships game where SMU dropped a 17-7 decision at UCF.
The 2010 Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl will be the Army Black Knights’ first postseason appearance since 1996 when Army dropped a 32-29 decision to Auburn in the Independence Bowl on December 31 in Shreveport, La. Army will be competing in its fifth bowl game in school history as Army has split its first four bowl appearances. Army positioned itself to play in the Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl after signing an agreement
with ESPN last April that allowed the Black Knights to accept a berth if they became bowl eligible prior to playing their last regular-season game against the United States Naval Academy, as well as if one of the two scheduled conferences (Conference USA or the Mountain West Conference) had an opening amongst its contractual bowl commitments. With TCU earning a berth in the Bowl Championship Series configuration, the Mountain West Conference had four other schools (Utah, 10-2; San Diego State, 8-4; Air Force, 8-4; and BYU, 6-6) to fill the league’s five guaranteed bowl berths in Las Vegas, San Diego, Shreveport and Albuquerque.