Sunday evening, the Chick-fil-A Bowl announced its selection for its Dec. 31 matchup: Texas A&M vs. Duke. The matchup will feature a slew of firsts, as the game will mark both the Aggies' and Blue Devils' first postseason visit to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in addition to facing off against each other for the first time in program history.
Texas A&M entered the season with sky-high expectations after an 11-2 (6-2 SEC) finish in its inaugural season with the Southeastern Conference, but an unstable defense combined with lackluster offensive performances derailed the Aggies into an 8-4 (4-4 SEC) conclusion, including two straight road losses to close the year. With head coach Kevin Sumlin set to receive a six-year extension, A&M is obviously already looking to the future, and a top-tier bowl win over a quality opponent would mark a solid start.
As for Duke, the Blue Devils were nowhere near expected to score their first invitation to the Chick-fil-A Bowl, but the unheralded squad closed the year with a 10-2 (6-2 ACC) record and Coastal Division title. Despite falling to national championship-bound Florida State 45-7 in the ACC Championship Game, Duke has already exceeded expectations, and a win over an SEC stronghold like A&M would only serve to further bolster the rising program.
Time: 8 p.m. ET, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Ga.
Radio: Texas A&M Sports Network
*Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand