New Orleans Bowl
The game pits a team from Conference USA versus a team from the Sun Belt Conference. From the beginning of the New Orleans Bowl until recently that automatically went to the Sun Belt champion, but since the conference earned a second bid, to the GoDaddy.com Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, the bowl now has the first choice of which team to take before the GoDaddy.com Bowl. Since the agreement, the Sun Belt champion has played in that game once. If Conference USA does not have enough bowl eligible teams the bowl will choose an at-large team, which they did in 2011 when Mountain West Conference member San Diego State was picked to play.
In 2001, the Sun Belt signed a temporary contract to play against the 5th-ranked team from the Mountain West Conference.
In the inaugural game, the Colorado State Rams defeated North Texas, 45–20. Starting in 2002, the Sun Belt signed a multi-year contract with Conference USA, and the two conferences began their bowl rivalry that December, when North Texas played then-Conference USA member Cincinnati.
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