The Bobcats entered the New Orleans Bowl with a record of 8–4. The team was 1 win away from playing in the MAC Championship game before losing their final game of the season to Kent State. Ohio made its first appearance in the New Orleans Bowl. The Bobcats appeared in their 3rd bowl game under head coach Frank Solich, however they were 0–2 in the two prior games, and Ohio had never won a bowl game in school history in four attempts. They were a 21–17 loser to Marshall in the 2009 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Troy entered the bowl game with a 7–5 overall record and won a share of the Sun Belt Conference Championship. The Trojans played in their third straight bowl game. This will also mark the third time in five seasons that Troy will be playing in the New Orleans Bowl. They are currently 1–1 in New Orleans Bowl games with a win over Rice in 2006 and a loss to Southern Miss in 2008. Last season Troy was defeated by Central Michigan by a score of 44–41 in the GMAC Bowl.