Independence Bowl would love to have UK

Kentucky's loss to Vanderbilt probably knocked the Cats not only out of the Outback Bowl but also the Chick-fil-A Bowl. However, there is a warm weather bowl that would still love to host UK.

Kentucky's loss to Vanderbilt probably knocked the Cats not only out of the Outback Bowl but also the Chick-fil-A Bowl. However, there is a warm weather bowl that would still love to host UK.

The Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., on Dec. 28 matches a SEC team against a Big 12 team.

While the bowl is not always thought of as highly as many others, don't forget that unbeaten Alabama did play in the bowl last year. And a few years ago Oklahoma played there the year before it won the national title.

"There are four teams in the Southeastern Conference that have not been to the Independence Bowl — Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt and Kentucky. Obviously, we would love to have any of them," said Independence Bowl rep Darrell Rebouche. "One of the strengths of our community and our bowl game is that we embrace our visitors wholeheartedly.

I think that what we find is that when people come to visit us, their experience always exceeds their expectations. We know that we need to go out of our way to be hospitable. We would be thrilled to have Kentucky in our game for a lot of reasons."

So what makes the bowl fun for players and fans?

"We know we don't have a beach. We try to make the experience as positive as fun and as uplifting as we can for everyone. We provide a lot of activities. Another thing that sneaks up on people is that we hear that this city is bigger than we thought it was. We have 24-hour entertainment. We have high rise hotels on the river. We have 24-hour casino gambling. You never have to sleep if you don't want to. There are a lot of programmed activities for bowl visitors," Rebouche said.

And what about the weather on Dec. 28?

"Typically the weather is to the liking because we are far enough south that it is not that cold. Since the now legendary snow bowl of Mississippi State and Texas A&M in 2000, most years our highs have been in the 70's and game temperatures have been around 55 or 60. It is usually very pleasant, kind of sweater weather where you can get out and get around," he said.

"People just have a good time. I have lived there 48 years. Our town gets excited about seeing bowl visitors. When we see fans, we stop, honk and wave. We are thrilled to see you. It is the only game in town so it gets an extraordinary amount of attention from the locals and the media. If you come, you'll like it and I can tell you now we would love to have a program on the rise like this Kentucky program is."


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