The Liberty Flames have officially moved up to the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) for the 2018 season and will play as an Independent.
On Thursday, Liberty announced that they have signed a two-year agreement with the AutoNation Cure Bowl for the 2018 and 2019 football seasons.
“It is a great honor for Liberty University and our football program to enter into a bowl agreement with the AutoNation Cure Bowl for 2018 and 2019. The mission and values of Liberty University and the AutoNation Cure Bowl align well, and we appreciate Alan Gooch and his board affording us this opportunity,” said Liberty Director of Athletics Ian McCaw. “The AutoNation Cure Bowl and Orlando Sports Foundation are widely recognized for providing a first class destination experience for the participating teams and their fans.”
The AutoNation Cure Bowl is played between teams from the Sun Belt Conference and the American Athletic Conference at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. This season’s game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 15.
The agreement is a “secondary agreement,” which means that Liberty can secure an invitation to the Cure Bowl if either conference does not have enough deserving teams (six-win teams). The Flames could be considered over five-win teams.
According to the release, “the NCAA bylaws do have provisions for the Flames to qualify for a bowl game in 2018 provided Liberty has successfully transitioned to year two of its FBS transitional status and is a deserving team.”
A possible slot for Liberty in the Cure Bowl will, of course, come down to how the Flames perform in 2018 and 2019. Another factor against them in 2018 is that Liberty is scheduled to play two Football Championship Subdivision teams (Norfolk State and Idaho State), and only one win can count towards bowl eligibility.