North Carolina will be headed to Charlotte for the second consecutive year to play in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, this time against No. 17 Pittsburgh. Both teams accepted invitations yesterday to play in the game on Dec. 26 at 4:30 p.m. at Bank of America Stadium, the home of the NFL's Carolina Panthers. UNC was hopeful of landing a top-tier bowl game this season after having played in Charlotte a year ago, but Coach Butch Davis said last night that he and his players are grateful for the chance to play in front of home fans again.
UNC to return to Charlotte, play Pitt
The Winston-Salem Journal
The retirement of a legendary coach and various contractual obligations of other ACC-affiliated bowls helped Charlotte's Meineke Car Care Bowl land an attractive local draw with North Carolina for the second straight year.
Heels to face Pittsburgh in Meineke Bowl
The News and Observer
The North Carolina football team is headed to the Meineke Car Care Bowl -- again.
For the second consecutive season and for the third time in the past five years, the Tar Heels will play their postseason game in Charlotte. UNC will face No. 17 Pittsburgh on Dec. 26 at Bank of America Stadium at 4:30 p.m. (ESPN).
Charlotte bowl again calls for Tar Heels
The Durham Herald-Sun
North Carolina is headed back to the Meineke Car Care Bowl.
Perhaps there's unfinished business for the Tar Heels, who'll take on No. 17 Pittsburgh at 4:30 p.m. Dec. 26 at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium.
North Carolina played in the same bowl last year, losing to West Virginia.
The Tar Heels (8-4) will play in the Charlotte bowl for the third time. It will be the second visit for Pittsburgh (9-3).
Tar Heels head back to Charlotte for bowl
The Burlington Times-News
Pitt's selection to the bowl was somewhat surprising. Heading into the weekend, the Meineke Bowl had been lukewarm about inviting the Panthers because of the school's reputation for not traveling well to bowl games. In 2003, Pitt sold about 3,000 of its allotted 12,000 tickets.
That meant Bank of America Stadium, with a capacity of 73,504, held 51,000 fans, and only that many were there because Virginia had its largest volume of ticket sales for a bowl game.
But things changed in Pitt's favor when the Gator Bowl selected Florida State. That decision put a wrench in the ACC bowl lineup, enabling tthe Tar Heels to fall into the lap of the Meineke Bowl (Big East vs. ACC) for the second consecutive year.
North Carolina preferred a game with Pitt -- which is No. 17 in the final BCS rankings -- for a variety of reasons, and the bowl officials worked out a deal to make that matchup happen.
One of the key factors is that North Carolina will help sell a small portion of Pitt's ticket allotment, which is 12,500.
Pitt to face North Carolina in Meineke Car Care Bowl
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Panthers (9-3), who likely would have faced No. 5 Florida in the Sugar Bowl with a win Saturday, will face North Carolina (8-4), which finished fourth in the ACC Coastal Division. In 2003, Pitt lost, 23-16, to Virginia in the then-Continental Tire Bowl in Charlotte.
The Panthers and Tar Heels have met six times, with North Carolina holding a 4-2 series lead. Pitt lost to its only ACC opponent on its schedule this season, North Carolina State, and is 62-66-2 against current ACC members.
Pitt to play North Carolina in Dec. 26 Meineke Car Care Bowl
The Pittsburgh Herald