Michigan headed to Outback Bowl

Michigan is headed to the Outback Bowl on New Year’s Day. The 19th-ranked Wolverines will play 11th-ranked South Carolina at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium.

It had appeared on Saturday that the Wolverines might drop to the Gator Bowl, but that chance ended when the Capital One Bowl chose Nebraska as the Big Ten representative. That gave the Outback Bowl a choice between Michigan and Northwestern, and it picked the Wolverines.

Michigan has played in the Outback on four previous occasions, winning three times. In the Wolverines’ last appearance, in 2002, they beat Florida 38-30.

Michigan finished the regular season ranked 19th in the AP poll and 22nd in the coaches poll. In the latter poll, three coaches ranked Michigan 15th, the highest votes for the Wolverines. The three were Michigan’s Brady Hoke, Notre Dame’s Brian Kelly and, of all people, Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez.