LAS VEGAS (AP) - Fresno State will face Southern California in the Las Vegas Bowl.
The 21st-ranked Bulldogs (11-1) capped their spectacular season by earning their first outright conference championship since 1989 on Saturday, trouncing Utah State in the Mountain West title game.
Although Fresno State fell one loss shy of busting the BCS, the Bulldogs' reward is a high-profile matchup with the transitioning Trojans (9-4) at Sam Boyd Stadium on Dec. 21.
USC (9-4) will have its third head coach of a tumultuous season, with offensive coordinator Clay Helton directing the Trojans in their second straight bowl appearance following a two-year NCAA ban.
Interim coach Ed Orgeron went 6-2 after Lane Kiffin was fired, but he resigned Monday after USC chose Steve Sarkisian for the permanent job.