Louisiana-Monroe proved it could play with some of the big boys, and it didn't stop there on the way to a historic year.
Ohio also built on the momentum from its memorable start to reach the postseason for a fourth consecutive time.
The Warhawks and the Bobcats, teams that pulled off big upsets in 2012, meet for the first time Dec. 28 in the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La.
Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) opened the season with a stunning 34-31 win over then-No. 8 Arkansas on Sept. 8. Though the Razorbacks proved to be vastly overrated, the Warhawks went on to show they could indeed compete with bigger programs, losing to Auburn and Baylor by a total of eight points in the following weeks.
Louisiana-Monroe then went 7-2 to close the regular season and earn its first bowl appearance since joining what would become the FBS in 1994.
"We are very excited that the hard work of the team and the staff have been noticed," coach Todd Berry said. "To have a historic season culminate in a bowl such...