HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - What Conference USA may lack in postseason prestige after this season, it will make up for in tourist destinations.
Marshall fans may want to save up and get their passports now, for a trip to the Bahamas is a possibility for 2014 and beyond.
That's not part of the new C-USA bowl lineup, but it's getting there. Officially, the league announced six affiliations for 2014-19 Tuesday, guaranteeing four places per postseason.
The "split" games are the Heart of Dallas Bowl and the Armed Forces Bowl, the latter in nearby Fort Worth, Texas. The league will play in one of the bowls every year, and play in each three times in the six-year span.
A similar arrangement will apply to the Hawaii Bowl and the Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl St. Petersburg. In both cases, there is no particular order set for each particular year, at least for now.
The league has a guaranteed spot for all six years in the New Orleans Bowl and the New Mexico Bowl. Four of the above bowls are owned by ESPN Television, which is expected to announce a purchase of the Heart of Dallas Bowl.
With those six affiliations signed, C-USA is looking to add more guaranteed games for its 14-team league (13 in 2014).
An expansion of the bowl system - yes, beyond the current 35 - is in motion, C-USA assistant commissioner Russ Anderson confirmed Tuesday. ESPN reported that two new bowls are certain for 2014. One would be played at Boca Raton at Florida Atlantic's 29,000-seat stadium, and the other would take place about 180 miles southeast of Boca - over the Atlantic Ocean in the Bahamas.