CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–The Fighting Illini made big strides this football season. It hasn’t gone unnoticed. The team will be headed to Tampa, Florida in a few weeks to compete in the Reliaquest Bowl.

The Illini will play Mississippi State of the SEC on Monday, January 2nd. The Fighting Illini posted an 8-4 record during the regular season, 5-4 in teh Big Ten.

The Reliaquest Bowl used to be known as the Outback Bowl and before that it was the Hall of Fame Bowl. This is the most prestigious bowl game that an Illinois football team has been invited to since the 2007 team went to the Rose Bowl.

Head coach Bret Bielema is more than pleased with the Illini’s bowl fortunes.

“A great bowl, a great place in this time of year compared a little bit, I’ve always enjoyed Champaign, but Tampa in January will be really nice. I promise you.”

That game will kickoff at 11 am CT. It will be shown on ESPN2.