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December 2, 2012

WKU heading to Detroit

For the first time in school history, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers are headed to an FBS postseason bowl game.

WKU Athletics announced on Nov. 2 they accepted an invitation to the Little Caesar's Bowl, held in Detroit, Mich.

"We are honored and pleased to accept a bid to the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl," AD Todd Stewart said. "I am especially happy for our 19 seniors for their perseverance and for overcoming the obstacles and growing pains they have endured.

"Of the last 19 teams to make the transition to the FBS, only 7 have earned a bowl berth in their first 4 seasons. We now join this group."

Western Kentucky finished 7-5 on the season, and was thought to be one of the last team's on the bubble, after being left out of a bowl in 2011 at 7-5.

Instead, Middle Tennessee (8-4) and Louisiana Tech (9-3) were the two bowl-eligible teams to stay at home.

Stewart and Little Caesars Bowl Director Ken Hoffman said WKU to Detroit talks had been on-going for a while.

"Western Kentucky was the team that our board wanted and our selection committee wanted," Hoffman said. "We have always been focused on Western Kentucky with the kind of team that they have, with the program growing the way it's growing, with the success over the past two years."

Senior tight end Jack Doyle said he waited all week to hear the news.

"People kept asking me all week, 'We going, Jack? We going?' I don't know," Doyle said. "I'm just gonna hang out, wait it out and not get my hopes high or my hopes low and just stay positive."

Middle Tennessee's athletic director expressed his frustration on going bowl-less from his Twitter account Sunday night, @ChrisMassaroAD.

"Frustrated with decisions made in board room and not on FB Field," Massaro said. "I won't ever get over this one. Period."

The Hilltoppers will play Central Michigan (6-6) from the Mid-American Conference.

Both teams defeated BCS conference members in the regular season, with WKU defeating Kentucky and CMU defeating Big 10 opponent Iowa.

The LCB will be the first bowl game for the Chippewa's since 2009.

Kickoff is scheduled for Dec. 26, 6:30 CST at Ford Field, and will be televised live on ESPN.

Click here for more bowl information, including how to order tickets and more.

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