The Fort Worth-based Armed Forces Bowl will invite Air Force as its Mountain West Conference team. The official announcement will come later this (Monday) afternoon. The Armed Forces Bowl will be played at 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 31 in Amon Carter Stadium.
Under first-year coach Troy Calhoun, the Falcons went 9-3 and their 5-2 record was good for second place in the MWC.
Air Force's opponent will either be a team from the Pacific-10 Conference or Purdue.
The Pac-10 has six bowl-eligible teams and agreements with six bowls. However, if the Pac-10 places a second team in the Bowl Championship Series as an at-large invitee, the league won't have enough bowl-eligible teams.
In that case, the Armed Forces Bowl is free to select a team from another conference. Teams with seven or more victories get first priority. Purdue, which finished 7-5, probably won't go to one of the Big Ten Conference's affiliated bowls and should be available to come to Fort Worth.
The Pac-10 bowl situation will be decided Saturday. USC can clinch a spot in the Rose Bowl by beating UCLA. Arizona State would probably become a BCS at-large team by defeating Arizona. However, if UCLA beats USC and Arizona beats Arizona State, UCLA would go to the Rose Bowl. That would also make Arizona bowl-eligible and would probably knock Arizona State out of at-large BCS consideration.
_ Wendell Barnhouse