The Beef 'O' Brady's is Marshall's 10th bowl trip, but interestingly, the Herd's first to the usually warm home to three of the seven longest-running postseason games - Florida.
It's the Herd's first bowl trip there since New Year's Day 1948, when it lost the second annual Tangerine Bowl - now the Capital One - to Catawba, 7-0 before an estimated crowd of 9,000 in Orlando.
The Beef is the game Marshall wanted, for so many reasons, and one the Herd (6-6) earned the hard way, going .500 against a schedule that was half-filled by teams that either won conference tittles or were runners-up. One poll (GBE Ratings) has the Herd strength of schedule at No. 12, with the largest degree of difficulty for a team not in a BCS automatic qualifying league.
The date against FIU is a matchup of teams that both won at Big East tri-champion Louisville, and it takes Coach Doc Holliday's club into a Sunshine State where he has deep recruiting ties and he prospects for players heavily - see the 29 Floridians on the current MU roster.
It also might help sell tickets that MU's biggest alumni state residency number, after West Virginia and Ohio, is in Florida. The Herd has taken its entire 7,500-ticket allotment, and gets to retain its first $100,000 in bowl sales, then 50 percent of what it sells over that figure.
It's a game against a program to which Herd rookie starting quarterback Rakeem Cato once committed, and where Marshall offensive coordinator Bill Legg worked as coordinator for FIU Coach Mario Cristobal before heading home to rejoin Holliday.
And it's a game that is likely soon to be a C-USA date. FIU has been mentioned repeatedly at the top of the Conference USA expansion list when - or if - the league loses UCF and others to the Big East. FIU already plays that other futbol - men's soccer - in C-USA.
The Dec. 20 date is also a plus for the Herd over its other bowl possibility, the Compass in Birmingham, Ala., which is played Jan. 7 - one of those afterthought bowls following the BCS biggies.
By Jan. 7, coaches want to be deep into recruiting efforts. It stretches out bowl practices to the interminable, only adding to a long year of hitting that began with preseason drills in early August.
The Beef Bowl got the game it wanted, too, after neither of its primary ties - Conference USA and the Big East - had enough teams to fill their slots.
C-USA gets $475,000 for the Herd participation, while FIU's Sun Belt home gets $250,000 - a bowl savings from the $600,000 that would have been due to the Big East. Soon-to-be ACC member Pitt lobbied big time for either the Big East or C-USA Beef berth after FIU was selected, but is headed back to Birmingham.
A 13th game is a lucky number for the two in-state programs. And if you're a college football team, it's certainly better than being home for the holidays.