Outback Bowl officials completed their New Year's Day match-up today by extending an invitation to the University of Georgia to play No. 17 Wisconsin in Tampa. The Bulldogs are ranked 7th in the ESPN/USA Today Poll and 8th in the AP Poll. Both teams finished the regular season with 9-2 records. It will be only the second meeting between the two programs and a rematch of the 1998 Outback Bowl.
"The Georgia Bulldogs have had an outstanding season and we welcome them to the Tampa Bay area," stated Team Selection Chairman Bernie O'Brien. "It's a tremendous opportunity to have a team ranked 7th in the country in our bowl game."
"This will be an incredible match-up,"said Outback Bowl Chairman Chuck
Johnson. "To have the winningest quarterback in SEC history, one of the top runners in Big Ten history and two of the very best defensive players in the country is more than we could have dreamed of before the season."
"It's great to have Coach Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs in our bowl," added Bowl President/CEO Jim McVay. "The Bulldog team and their fans will love the amenities and events in the Tampa, St Pete, Clearwater area, along with our state-of-the-art stadium.
"I'm really happy for our team and especially our seniors," said UGA head coach Mark Richt. "We have the opportunity to play on New Year's Day, to play a quality opponent in Wisconsin, to finish the season with ten wins and in the top ten in the final rankings. I know our team will be committed to the preparation necessary to play what I know is a very tough Wisconsin team which has a very rich football tradition and an established national reputation."
The 2005 Outback Bowl once again kicks-off the New Year's Day bowl lineup at 11 A.M. (ET) and will be telecast internationally on ESPN TV.