The local bowl picture is beginning to fall into place with UCF accepting an invitation to the St. Petersburg Bowl.
An opponent from the Big East hasn't been set but will be decided by Sunday. It's unlikely to be USF, which played in the game last year.
UCF (8-4), which has won five of its past six games including its first-ever win against a ranked team, will be in a bowl for the third time. A game Dec. 19 at Tropicana Field just two hours from campus should draw a strong crowd of UCF fans.
"I can assure you that the Knights fans will be there in droves," UCF athletic director Keith Tribble told St. Petersburg Bowl executive director Brett Dulaney as he accepted the bowl bid.
The Knights, 3-3 after a loss to Miami in October, have won five of six, including a 37-32 home upset of then-No. 13 Houston and wins since against Tulane and UAB.
The Big East team remains up in the air. Rutgers and Connecticut are most likely, though there is a long-shot possibility Pittsburgh could be available if the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville picks West Virginia and the Meineke Car Care Bowl in Charlotte chooses Rutgers. Dulaney did not rule out USF.
UCF officials did not take advantage of the opportunity to lobby for a rematch with USF, which decided to end its heated, four-year series with the Knights in 2008.
"We're happy to play anybody," UCF coach George O'Leary said. "Whoever it is we have to play, we welcome."
The Outback Bowl said it won't announce its teams until Sunday, though the Birmingham News reported on its Web site, AL.com, that Auburn would play in the Outback, possibly against Wisconsin.
Information from the Orlando Sentinel was used in this report.