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Mississippi State officially accepts invitation to AutoZone Liberty Bowl

After a week or so of speculation, we finally have official confirmation: Mississippi State will head back to Memphis for the first time in six years to play in the Liberty Bowl on December 31st.

Mississippi State University | @HailStateFB

After rumors galore, reports, and everything in between on MSU's bowl destination this week, we finally know now officially what we've known unofficially for nearly a week now. Mississippi State will take on Conference USA champion, the Rice Owls, in the 2013 AutoZone Liberty Bowl, the school officially announced tonight.

Mississippi State, who will be playing in a fourth straight bowl game for the first time in school history, became bowl eligible with a win Thanksgiving night over Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. It was initially thought once MSU became bowl eligible that they may head to the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham, but as time progressed, rumors began to surface that MSU would instead head to Memphis for the Liberty Bowl.

The Rice Owls comes in at 10-3, having won the Conference USA championship this past Saturday with a 41-24 win over the expected-champion Marshall. The Owls own the second best defense in Conference USA, and own the 15th best rushing offense in the country at 240 yards per game.

The game will take place on December 31st, at Liberty Bowl Stadium in Memphis, Tennessee. Kickoff is set for 3p.m. Central Time, and the game is set to be televised by the (surprise!) ESPN network.

Now that we officially know that MSU is headed to the Liberty Bowl, what does everyone think about the selection? Early response seemed to be positive in MSU heading to Memphis instead of Birmingham, but after we reported earlier in the day that State was likely headed to the Liberty, there seemed to be some negative response.

Either way, it feels good to be bowling for a fourth straight year.

Hail State