Notre Dame accepted a bid Monday to play Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl on Jan. 1.
The Irish had hoped for a Bowl Championship Series appearance bid -- and the accompanying $11 to $13 million payoff -- but lost their final regular season game to Southern California on Saturday to finish 9-2. They have to settle for the $1.4 million from the Gator Bowl, which will be played in Jacksonville, Fla.
Notre Dame spokesman John Heisler said athletic director Mike Wadsworth spoke with BCS officials for more than an hour this morning before the school was told it would not be one of the eight teams in the BCS.
Gator Bowl officials then extended their bid to the No. 16 Irish, pitting them against the No. 12 Yellow Jackets. Notre Dame beat Georgia Tech 17-13 in last year's season opener and is 26-4-1 against the Yellow Jackets.
The independent Notre Dame was eligible for the Gator Bowl, which is part of the Big East rotation of bowls, through a deal struck with the conference. It allows the Gator and Insight.com bowls to select the Irish so long as they are within one win of all other bowl eligible teams in the Big East. Among the four bowl eligible teams in the Big East, Notre Dame has the best record.
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