Photo Courtesy: SAU Athletics
MAGNOLIA, Ark. (SAU) -- Southern Arkansas' recently completed 8-2 regular season may not have been enough to earn it a spot in the NCAA Division II football playoffs, but it has earned them an invitation to play in the first-ever Division II C.H.A.M.P.S. Heart of Texas Bowl scheduled for December 1 at 7 p.m. in Copperas Cove, Texas, at Copperas Cove High School's Bulldawg Stadium.
The Muleriders opponent will be McMurry (Texas) University, currently 7-3 on the season after defeating Bacone (Okla.) 47-14 this past weekend. The War Hawks close out their regular season Saturday at home against the University of Mexico.
The Heart of Texas Bowl has existed for a number of years as the National Junior College game and is adding the Division II game this year, which will be played in conjunction with the 12th annual junior college bowl that features a member of the Southwest Junior College Conference versus an at-large junior college team. That game will take place earlier in the day, but the time and teams have not yet been announced.
Copperas Cove is located due west of Temple, about halfway between Waco and Austin.
The bowl is sponsored by C.H.A.M.P.S., Communities Helping Americans Mature Progress and Succeed, a school-based program aimed at educating students about the dangers of the abuse of illicit drugs and alcohol, and was founded by Copperas Cove Head Coach and Athletic Director Jack Welch.
Located in Abilene, Texas, McMurry is in its first year competing on the NCAA Division II level during its transition as a member of the Heartland Conference and isn't eligible for the playoffs for another two years. The War Hawks are coached by former Valdosta State and University of Kentucky head coach Hal Mumme, who was instrumental in helping bring this year's Division II game to the Heart of Texas Bowl.
The game will be the first bowl appearance for SAU since the 1990 Aztec Bowl in Mexico City when they defeated the Mexican All-Stars 41-31. They played then John McNeese (La.) Junior College (McNeese State) to a 0-0 standstill in the 1947 Cajun Bowl in Lake Charles, La., and defeated then Eastern Oklahoma A&M (Eastern Oklahoma State) 41-12 in the 1948 Papoose Bowl in Oklahoma City, Okla.
Ticket information for the Heart of Texas Bowl will be forthcoming, with a number of tickets to be made available and sold through Southern Arkansas.