AMES - Lane Danielsen remembers watching in amazement as several inches of snow blanketed the field at the Independence Bowl in Shreveport, La., last New Year's Eve.
"We were glad we weren't down there last year," the Iowa State wide receiver said.
That's not the case this year. Danielsen and the Cyclones will play in the 26th annual Independence Bowl against a team from the Southeastern Conference. The game will be at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 27. It will be televised by ESPN.
ISU officially accepted an invitation from Independence Bowl Executive Director Glen Krupica at a press conference on Tuesday.
"I'm really excited to go down there," said safety Adam Runk. "I've never seen that part of the country. I think it'll be a lot of fun."
This will the second consecutive bowl appearance for Iowa State, which hadn't been to a bowl since 1978 when it beat Pittsburgh in the Insight.com Bowl a year ago.
The Cyclones are one of a record eight teams from the Big 12 Conference that have received bowl invitations, including two in the Bowl Championship Series.
Colorado and Nebraska will play in the BCS, while Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl), Texas (Holiday), Kansas State (Insight.com), Texas Tech (Alamo), ISU and Texas A&M (galleryfurniture.com) also will play in the postseason.
"That really tells you about the strength of the Big 12 Conference, and to have two teams in the BCS the same year you have eight bowl participants tells you how great of a league it is," ISU Athletic Director Bruce Van De Velde said.
The Big 12's bowl lineup was set Monday afternoon after it was determined the league would have two teams in the BCS. The other bowls had their pick of the Big 12's bowl-eligible teams based on a contractual pecking order.
"It was worth waiting for, having two teams in the championship series, because it'll mean about $6 million more to the conference," Van De Velde said
"Until we know what happens at the top, we can't proceed down the rank order. With that, the dominoes all fell this afternoon and we proceeded."
The Cyclones' opponent won't be determined until after Saturday's SEC championship game between No. 2 Tennessee and No. 21 Louisiana State.