The Pittsburgh Panthers pushed at the end of the 2012 season to become bowl eligible from the Big East, and their reward was a third consecutive trip to the BBVA Compass Bowl, where they will face off against the Ole Miss Rebels.
But despite the return trip to Birmingham for the Big East-SEC showdown, the Panthers will enter the game as underdogs, as most sports books are pinning the Rebels as 3.5-point favorites for the late-season bowl game.
The Rebels are the favorites significantly closer to home than the Panthers are despite returning to a bowl of any kind for the first time since 2009. Coming off a 3-5 season in the SEC, the Rebels are led by quarterback Bo Wallace, who passed for 19 touchdowns and nearly 2,900 yards on the year.
The Panthers have split their two previous BBVA Compass Bowl appearances, including a 28-6 loss to the SMU Mustangs last season.