SAN DIEGO - Left out of the BCS, the No. 12 Arizona State Sun Devils will play No. 17 Texas in the Holiday Bowl on Dec. 27.
While the Sun Devils had hoped to play in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz., Holiday Bowl officials are happy to have them in their game.
"Back in 2002 they brought a ton of fans and we know they'll bring a lot of fans this time," Holiday Bowl executive director Bruce Binkowski said Sunday. "We are very fortunate to have a BCS-caliber team in our game."
Coach Dennis Erickson led the Sun Devils to a 10-2 record in his first season in Tempe. With USC heading to the Rose Bowl as the Pacific-10 Conference champion, the Holiday Bowl was obligated by contract to take the runner-up Sun Devils.
"We think this is an outstanding matchup with two great teams from the Pac-10 and Big 12, and we couldn't be any happier," Binkowski said.
It will be the first meeting between ASU and Texas.
"We are tremendously excited to be playing in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl," Erickson said in a statement.
The Sun Devils are 0-2 in previous Holiday Bowls, losing to Arkansas in 1985 and to Kansas State in 2002.
Coach Mack Brown will bring Texas (9-3) to the Holiday Bowl for the fourth time in eight years. The Longhorns lost to Oregon in 2000, beat Washington in 2001 and lost to Washington State in 2003.
"We're looking forward to getting out to San Diego and preparing for another great Pacific Life Holiday Bowl," Brown said in a statement.