On Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, Toledo will square off with Florida International in the 2010 Little Caesars Pizza Bowl. In the second year of this game under a new name, it will once again not involve a team from the Big Ten. Not enough Big Ten teams were eligible for postseason play for this bowl game's spot to be filled, thanks mainly to the BCS taking two Big Ten teams. With a 12th team being added to the Big Ten next year the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl's slot in the lineup is much more likely to be filled, but for at least one more year it will have to get by with a MAC and Sun Belt team.
Toledo finished the year with a 42-31 blowout win against Central Michigan to improve to 8-4. The Rockets went 7-1 in the MAC and actually beat Purdue in non-conference play. The Rockets' four losses were to Arizona, Wyoming, Boise State and Northern Illinois.
Florida International started off the season 0-4 before getting things turned around and becoming co-Sun Belt champions with a 6-2 in-conference record. FIU's overall record was 6-6, as they lost all of their non-conference games (to Rutgers, Texas A&M, Maryland and Pittsburgh).The Golden Panthers' two conference losses came to Florida Atlantic and Middle Tennessee.
FIU has never played in this bowl game before, whereas this is Toledo's fourth appearance in the game. The previous three appearances came when it was known as the Motor City Bowl. Toledo beat Cincinnati in 2001 in this game and lost to Bowling Green in 2002 and UConn in 2004.