FAYETTEVILLE Steve Ehrhart and the Liberty Bowl have had their eyes on Arkansas all season.
A representative of the Memphis-based game attended the Razorbacks’ opener against Missouri State on Sept. 5, and Ehrhart, the bowl’s executive director, said he watched Arkansas in person three or four times.
So there was no question who the Liberty Bowl was pursuing when the regular season ended.
Last week’s worst-kept secret was officially revealed Sunday, when Arkansas accepted an invitation to play in the Liberty Bowl on Jan. 2. The Razorbacks (7-5) will represent the Southeastern Conference and face East Carolina (9-4), which wrapped up its second straight trip to the bowl after beating Houston in the Conference-USA championship game.
In our community here, there’s just a great, close relationship with the entire state of Arkansas, Ehrhart said during a teleconference Sunday. That’s why we’ve been on the Razorbacks since the very first game. … It was a unanimous decision from our committee from basically early in the season.
Arkansas will make its fourth appearance in the Liberty Bowl, which will be televised by ESPN and is slated for a 4:30 p.m. kickoff.
The Razorbacks’ last Liberty Bowl trip was a 20-17 loss to Georgia in 1987. Arkansas has also lost to Auburn (1984) and Tennessee (1971) in the bowl. [read more]