Ragin Cajuns accept R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl bid for second straight season

LAFAYETTE – With Saturday’s win over South Alabama at Cajun Field, the Ragin’ Cajuns football team locked up a winning mark for the second straight season. 

During the postgame celebration, the team picked up its second straight trip to New Orleans for a postseason bowl game. 

The Ragin’ Cajuns (7-4, 5-2 Sun Belt) were extended an invitation for a repeat trip to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, held at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, by Jay Cicero, the president and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Sports Commission moments after the final horn sounded in the 52-30 win over South Alabama on Senior Day.

“Coach Hudspeth, Dr. Savoie and members of the Ragin’ Cajuns football team, on behalf of the Greater New Orleans Sports Commission and the New Orleans Bowl committee, I would like to formally invite you to participate in the 2012 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl,” Cicero said.

Louisiana president Dr. Joseph Savoie, Director of Athletics Scott Farmer and head coach Mark Hudspeth accepted the New Orleans Bowl’s invitation, signaling the first ever back-to-back bowl bids in school history.

Louisiana is now officially set to return to the site of the program’s first bowl appearance in the modern era where the Ragin’ Cajuns upended San Diego State 32-30 on a Brett Baer 50-yard field goal as time expired on Dec. 17, 2011 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

“I couldn’t be happier going back to New Orleans,” Hudspeth said.  “It is a testament to the young men on this team that they fought through the adversity and injuries this season and put ourselves in a position to get invited back to New Orleans.  We’ve fought hard all season, and it’s nice to see all of that work pay off.  Our players and fans couldn’t be happier to be going back to the Big Easy - let’s paint the town red, again.”

Louisiana will face an opponent to be named – at the latest by Sunday, Dec. 2 – on Saturday, Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. inside the Mercedes-Benz Superdome for the 12th annual R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.

The Ragin’ Cajuns, winners of three of their last four games, picked up the school’s fourth bowl bid – 1944 Oil Bowl, 1970 Grantland Rice Bow, 2011 New Orleans Bowl are the previous appearances.

Louisiana becomes the fifth school to make multiple trips to the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, joining Southern Miss (4), North Texas (4), Troy (3) and Memphis (2) on the list of schools with repeat postseason appearances in the Crescent City. 

Fans can download the ticket order form located at the Bowl Central page on RaginCajuns.com and submit the form via mail, email or in person to the Cajundome ticket office. The ticket office is open Monday-Friday from 10:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.

Fans can also order tickets by calling the Cajundome ticket office at (337) 265-2170 during business hours.

Fans are reminded to purchase R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl tickets only through the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics Department because these purchases help the department continue to establish a history of selling tickets for bowl games.  In addition, the athletics department will be allotted the best seats available for the game.

In keeping with the priorities established over the last year, RCAF 2012 Annual Fund Donors will receive seating priority based on their donor level, having until Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 to purchase their tickets. 

Once the RCAF members are seated, remaining seats will be assigned to 2012 football season ticket holders, current Louisiana students in the Bowl “Red Zone” and the general public.  All seats in these three categories will be assigned on Dec. 6 on a first-come, first-served basis.

RCAF donors can purchase as many tickets as desired, but the number of priority seats will be determined by their annual fund donation as of Dec. 6, 2012.

For all of the latest news and information on Ragin’ Cajuns Athletics and the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl, visit RaginCajuns.com. Fans can also follow the athletics department on its social media outlets at www.Facebook.com/ULRaginCajuns along with @ULRaginCajuns on Twitter.

The Ragin’ Cajuns football team closes out the 2012 regular season on Saturday, Dec. 1 in Boca Raton, Fla., against Florida Atlantic. Kickoff at FAU Stadium is set for 2 p.m. (CST).

The New Orleans Bowl is an NCAA-sanctioned post-season college football bowl game that has been played annually at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana since 2001. The game was sponsored by Wyndham Hotels & Resorts from 2002 to 2004 and was officially called the Wyndham New Orleans Bowl. R+L Carriers replaced Wyndham as the sponsor in 2006, and thus it became officially known as the R+L Carriers 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, Ala., in 2010, the bowl is required to take the SBC champion only twice every four years. 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.

1944    Oil Bowl vs. Arkansas A&M (W, 24-7 on Jan. 1, 1944 in Houston, Texas)
1970    Grantland Rice Bowl vs. Tennessee State (L, 25-26 on Dec. 12, 1970 in Baton Rouge, La.)
2011    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl vs. San Diego State (W, 32-30 on Dec. 17, 2011 in New Orleans, La.)
2012    R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl vs. TBA (Dec. 22, 2012 in New Orleans, La.)

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