Bowl officials have an agreement with the U.S. Naval Academy to serve as one of the competing teams as long as Navy qualifies by winning at least six games. It would mark the first appearance by the Midshipmen in the bowl’s 11-year history. Navy’s opponent would be a team from the Mountain West Conference.
Brant Ringler, the bowl’s executive director, said the Monday morning start during a holiday weekend should entice fans to have a more extended stay in Fort Worth for bowl festivities. Last year’s game, played on Saturday, drew 40,754 fans and garnered the largest TV audience in the game’s history: 2,584,000 households. Rice defeated Air Force, 33-14, in the 2012 contest.
_ Jimmy Burch