Bearcats versus Blue Devils. Red versus Blue. Public versus Private. Champion versus Upstart.
The December 27th Belk Bowl in Charlotte, North Carolina will mark the first ever football meeting between University of Cincinnati and Duke University.
Duke is wonderfully new entrant to bowl season. The last bowl Duke University football competed in occured in 1995.
The Blue Devils do have three excellent receivers though. Conner Vernon (75), Jamison Crowder (70), and Desmond Scott (61) all recorded more catches than Bearcat leader Travis Kelce (40).
Cincinnati was more successful with 9 wins in the Big East as opposed to Duke's 6-6 record.
What is a Belk?
Belk is a company based on Charlotte that "offers fashion that's uniquely suited to the modern, Southern lifestyle."
More than 300 fashion stores exist across 16 southern states with the name Belk attached. The founder, William Henry Belk, was merely 24 years old when he opened his first store in 1888.
Credit cards of any kind were not allowed until the unusually late date of 1967.
Three Big East players claimed Belk Bowl MVP awards. Starting in 2008 Pat White (West Virginia), Dion Lewis (Pittsburgh), and B.J. Daniels (South Florida) earned the honor.
Matt Schaub (Houston Texans) is one of the most successful Belk Bowl alumni.
Fellow alum Larry Fitzgerald stars for the Arizona Cardinals and Heath Miller (Pittsburgh) ranks as a premier AFC tight end, and N.C. State lineman Mario Williams was drafted first overall by the Texans in 2006.
Hakeem Nicks (Giants), Donald Brown (Indianapolis Colts), and Brandon Tate (Cincinnati Bengals).
Starting left tackle for the woeful New York Jets, D'Brickashaw Ferguson appeared in the 2005 Belk Bowl.
Festive and spirited
In addition to the game itself Cincinnati players and coaches will be welcomed to Charlotte in style.
Hourlong visits include the NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Levin Children's Hospital, and a Belk Bowl FanFest.
Last year Zach Collaros and J.K. Schaffer joined Butch Jones at the FanFest in Memphis, Tennessee. It essentially replicated an augmented high school pep rally.
Tickets are on sale now at CATSTIX.com and are available at three pricing levels. Tickets are priced at $50 for upper level seats, $75 for lower endzone, $85 for lower sideline and $100 for club seats.
Tickets are available for purchase by all fans, including UCATS members, students and the general public. Seating assignments will be determined by UCATS tier level and then priority points within the tier level. Fans are strongly encouraged to order tickets online to avoid long wait times on the phone or in person at the Athletics Ticket Office.
The customer service call center will be open from 8-5 p.m., starting Monday, Dec. 3. Fans that do not purchase online can call 1-877-CATS-TIX or visit the Athletics Ticket Office on the fourth floor of the Richard E. Lindner Center in Varsity Village.
All individuals who buy or donate tickets through UC will receive: two (2) tickets to a future BIG EAST Conference men's basketball game and a 20% off merchandise credit for the GoBEARCATS.com online store.
The priority deadline for ordering bowl tickets will be 5 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2011. The allocation process of bowl tickets following the deadline. Tickets may be ordered after the deadline, but patrons may be at risk of being allocated in a less desirable location.
There will be no limit to the number of bowl tickets a patron chooses to purchase, but there will be a limit of 16 tickets allocated in a determined priority seating location (priority seating locations will be determined by venue location and quantities of overall bowl tickets purchased). Allocations of bowl tickets will be based upon UCATS annual giving and priority points.
The Department of Athletics will disseminate information on student tickets and travel packages through GoBEARCATS.com, C-Mail and social media outlets when it becomes available.
2012-13 BIG EAST BOWL SCHEDULE
Belk Bowl • Dec. 27
Cincinnati vs. Duke............................ 6:30 p.m.
Series: First meeting
Russell Athletic Bowl • Dec. 28
Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech................... 5:30 p.m.
Series: Virginia Tech leads, 11-3
Last Meeting: Oct. 4, 2003 - Virginia Tech, 48-28
New Era Pinstripe Bowl • Dec. 29
Syracuse vs. West Virginia................ 3:15 p.m.
Series: Syracuse leads, 32-27
Last Meeting: Oct. 21, 2011 - Syracuse, 49-23
Allstate Sugar Bowl • Jan. 2
Louisville vs. Florida.......................... 8:30 p.m.
Series: Florida leads, 2-0
Last Meeting: Oct. 24, 1992 - Florida, 31-17
BBVA Compass Bowl • Jan. 5
Pittsburgh vs. Mississippi....................... 1 p.m.
Series: First meeting