The American, previously known as the BIG EAST Conference, has been a primary conference associate for the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl since the inaugural game in 2008. Beginning next football season, The American will have the following 11 schools in the league: Cincinnati, Connecticut, East Carolina, Houston, Memphis, SMU, Temple, Tulane, Tulsa, UCF and USF. In 2015 the league adds the U.S. Naval Academy to its lineup.
During the new six-year team that begins with the 2014 college football season, The American representative will be paired up against a team from either the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) or Conference USA. Earlier this summer the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl and the ACC reached an agreement where the ACC will be a primary selection for the bowl in 2014 and 2016 and then will be a backup in the remaining seasons over the six-year agreement. Conference USA, which has also been a partner of the bowl since its inception, will provide a team for the bowl three times over the six-year period.
"We're happy to be able to continue to have a relationship with The American," said Brett Dulaney, executive director, Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg. "We look forward to continuing to work with the exceptional leadership of The American and its school administrators and football coaches to make sure they have a great home in St. Petersburg every December."
"The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl has been a terrific partner for us and has quickly become one of the most attractive bowl destinations in the postseason landscape" said Mike Aresco, commissioner, the American Athletic Conference. "The city of St. Petersburg and the entire Tampa Bay area have embraced this event to make it a special experience for our student-athletes and fans."
The Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl is owned by ESPN Events, a subsidiary of ESPN.