Following Liberty’s 20-13 win over New Mexico State Saturday night to improve to 4-2 on the heels of a 4-game win streak, CBS Sports and the Sporting News currently have the Flames projected to make a bowl game.
CBS’ Jerry Palm projects Liberty into the Birmingham Bowl on January 2, 2020 in Birmingham, Alabama which will air on ESPN at 3 p.m. Palm has the Flames slated against UCF, the Knights are 4-2 on the season following their loss at Cincinnati last Friday.
The Sporting News also has Liberty in the Birmingham Bowl but facing SMU. The Mustangs are off to a 6-0 start this season and are ranked in the top 25. Liberty lost to SMU, 29-14, in 2016.
The Jared Birmingham Bowl is played at Legion Field and pits teams from the SEC and American Athletic Conference. Should either of these conferences not fulfill their bowl commitments, the Birmingham Bowl can take a team from Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, or an at-large team.
Liberty is in its first season as a full-fledged FBS member and eligible to make a bowl game provided it reaches bowl eligibility of 6 FBS wins. The Flames currently has 4 FBS wins, as one win against an FCS team is able to count. Following this week’s bye week, Liberty plays Maine, but a win against the Black Bears will not count towards bowl eligibility since Liberty already beat FCS Hampton. Following the Maine game, the Flames will face five straight FBS opponents, needing two wins to become bowl eligible.
This year, Liberty is in its 2nd season of a 2-year agreement with the Cure Bowl. It is a secondary bowl agreement which will give the Flames the opportunity to replace a team from the American Athletic Conference or the Sun Belt Conference should either league fail to field enough deserving teams. CBS currently projects Cincinnati and Arkansas State to play in the December 21 Cure Bowl in Orland, Florida.
Beginning with the 2020 season, Liberty has reached a bowl agreement with ESPN which could put the Flames in one of at least six bowl games – Boca Raton Bowl, Camellia Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Tropical Smoothie Cafe Frisco Bowl, Myrtle Beach Bowl, or the New Mexico Bowl.