Team selections were made on "Selection Sunday" in early December. The game was supposed to feature a team from the WAC against a team from the Pac-10 Conference. The bowl would have had the sixth choice of Pac-10 teams, but a Pac-10 team was not available, as only four teams from the conference were bowl-eligible, so organizers of the game went to a contingency plan with the ACC to supply a team.
Representing the WAC were the Nevada Wolf Pack and representing the ACC were the Boston College Eagles.
During the regular season, Nevada scored 75 school record touchdowns for 554 total points, another record. Wolf Pack senior RB Vai Taua, rushing at 127.8 yards per game, was sixth in the nation. Senior QB Colin Kaepernick was the only player in college football history to pass for over 9,000 yards [9,906] and rush for over 4,000 yards [4,090]. Defensively, senior DE Dontay Moch was fifth in the nation in tackles for loss with 1.69 per game and the nation's active leader in career TFL with 63.0.
The Eagles led the nation in rushing defense allowing just 80.2 yards per game and held seven opponents under 100 yards rushing, including a low of four yards twice this season. Sophomore LB Luke Kuechly led the nation in tackles with 14.3 per game. Offensively, the team was led by junior RB Montel Harris, who is 11th in the nation in rushing with 103.6 yards per game.