The Liberty Bowl will be played in Memphis on Friday, December 29 at 2:30 PM, with a television broadcast on ESPN. The Liberty Bowl’s contractual affiliation is
Big 12 vs. SEC
It has some latitude and can pick (I think I have this approximately right) anywhere from the 3rd- to 8th-place finisher in those conferences. That allows the bowl to select a good matchup that will intrigue traveling fans of the two invited schools as well as local football fans.
Given who was available, the Big 12 pick was pretty obvious:
Iowa State Cyclones vs. SEC
The Iowa State Cyclones are 7-5 (6-3 in conference) with a recent win over ranked Kansas State. Iowa State fans have traveled very well to previous Liberty Bowls and are known to love Memphis as a travel destination.
The “SEC” side of the equation was a bit murkier. Mississippi State, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt failed to win the requisite 6 games to be invited to a bowl game. That left the SEC unable to fulfill all of its contractual obligations, including its obligation to the Liberty Bowl.
So the Liberty Bowl became
Iowa State Cyclones vs. At-large
Now it was up to the folks at the Liberty Bowl to find a team that would match up well with I-State and which would appeal to the local audience and sell plenty of tickets. Presenting the lineup for the 2023 Liberty Bowl:
Iowa State Cyclones vs. Memphis Tigers
This is fantastic news for Memphis… and yet not the best news for the Downtown Memphis economy. This year we’ll have one team’s fans staying in Downtown hotels, eating in Downtown restaurants, rather than two.
Let’s embrace the Iowa State fans who will be coming to Memphis – show them a good time, point out our favorite spots that they might otherwise miss. Maybe we can convince some of them to extend their stay until New Year’s.
Other bowl games of interest:
- December 23: Camellia Bowl, Montgomery, AL: Arkansas State vs. Northern Illinois, 11:00 AM, ESPN
- December 29: Cotton Bowl, Arlington, TX, Ohio State vs. Missouri, 7:00 PM, ESPN
- December 30: Peach Bowl, Atlanta, Penn State vs. Ole Miss, 11:00 AM, ESPN
- December 30: Music City Bowl, Nashville, Auburn vs. Maryland, 1:00 PM, ABC
- December 30: Orange Bowl, Miami Gardens, FL, Florida State vs. Georgia, 3:00 PM, ESPN
- January 1: ReliaQuest Bowl, Tampa, LSU vs. Wisconsin, 11:00 AM, ESPN2
- January 1: Fiesta Bowl, Glendale, AZ, Oregon vs. Liberty (Group of Five representative), noon, ESPN
- January 1: Citrus Bowl, Orlando, Iowa vs. Tennessee, noon, ABC
It’s National Cookie Day. You can celebrate with a visit to Makeda’s at 301 Jefferson. Or you could visit Butterific Bakery & Cafe at 488 S. Second. Or the pastry shop inside the Peabody. Or Insomnia Cookies on Beale.
Travel South International Showcase comes to the Renasant Convention Center today through Thursday.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra comes to FedExForum Thursday, December 14.
Eight & Sand Lounge in Central Station Hotel will be closed for a private event Wednesday, December 6.
Westy’s celebrates its 40th anniversary this coming weekend.
The annual Memphis holiday parade rolls down Beale Street from 2:00 to 3:30 PM Saturday.
Streetdog Foundation hosts Sippin’ with Santa Paws this Saturday at Loflin Yard. Silent auction, drink specials, dog costume contest, adoptable dogs, photos with Santa Paws. This event will be held in the heated Carriage House.
On Sunday there will be a gingerbread decorating party at Loflin Yard.
Old Dominick Distillery will hold a Speakeasy Soiree Tuesday evening to celebrate the 90th anniversary of Prohibition’s repeal.
There will be a holiday bazaar in Tom Lee Park Saturday and Sunday. It’s free to the public and there will be a free Double Dutch Aerobics class Saturday 10-11 and Sunday 2-3.
Today’s specials at Bardog:
- Fried chicken sandwich with lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, cheddar, bacon, BBQ – $17
- Grilled salmon penne in a Tuscan butter cream sauce – $19
- Soup: Crawfish bisque
- Dog: Peppers, onions, ketchup, mustard, bacon
- Mussels: Garlic butter, white wine, tomato
- Pecan pie
That’ll do it for now. Back tomorrow probably.