The 2014 season is still some four months away. But it already has a bowl invitation issued.
ESPN reported Monday that BYU has agreed to play in the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl, matching up against an American Athletic Conference opponent in the AAC-owned game. The former Big East announced the creation of the game, to be played in Miami's Marlins Park, in October 2013.
The game was originally planned to bring together teams from the AAC and Conference USA. But per sources cited by ESPN, the AAC offered C-USA its spot in the inaugural 2014 Bahamas Bowl, with C-USA in turn offering its Miami Beach Bowl invite to BYU.
As an independent, BYU must make its bowl arrangements in advance, and is already slated to play the 2016 and 2018 Poinsettia Bowls. The Cougars will not play in the Miami Beach Bowl (or the Poinsettia in future seasons) if they do not become bowl-eligible, or if they land in either the College Football Playoff or one of its six affiliated bowls.
Per the Salt Lake Tribune and the AAC, the league has not established a pecking order for its affiliated bowls, meaning BYU could face anywhere from the American's champion to its fifth-place team. The Cougars face AAC opponents UCF, Houston and UConn during the 2014 regular season.