Auburn will face Purdue in the Music City Bowl in Nashville at 12:30 p.m CST on Dec. 28.
The announcement was made on Sunday afternoon. It came as somewhat of a surprise, as the vast majority of projections had Auburn headed to the Texas Bowl.
Purdue finished the season 6-6, and barely snuck into a bowl game by winning at Indiana last week. They also had a win against then-No. 2 Ohio State on Oct. 20.
The Music City Bowl has been in existence since 1998, and this is the second time Auburn has been a participant, first playing Wisconsin in 2003. It’s been an ACC/Big 10 or SEC. Last year, No. 20 Northwestern defeated Kentucky. There have only been five ranked teams in the 21 years of the Music City Bowl.
This will be the 13th bowl game in the last 15 seasons for Auburn — though certainly one of the least prestigious. They also played in the 2015 Birmingham Bowl, and both the 2007 and 2011 Chick-Fil-A bowls. Auburn finished the 2003 regular season 7-5, and also played in the Music City Bowl, defeating the Badgers 28-14.
Purdue and Auburn are two teams that have seen their seasons go in different directions. The Boilermakers started the season 0-3, including a loss to Eastern Michigan. Their hopes of making a bowl game took a big early hit. Auburn was ranked at No. 7 after the third week of the year.
So, if anything, this Music City Bowl will be about salvaging a rough year.