Southern California will face Tulane in the Cotton Bowl on Jan. 2. Both teams are 11-2.
The Trojans were in line for the College Football Playoff before losing 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game.
The American Athletic Conference champion Green Wave were 16th in the final CFP standings.
Their last major bowl was the Sugar Bowl on New Year’s Day in 1940.
Tulane won only two games last season, and the nine-win improvement matches an FBS record.
USC has tied its school record by winning seven more games than last season.
No. 14 Tulane (11-2, American Athletic, No. 16 CFP) vs No. 8 Southern California (11-2, Pac-12, No. 10 CFP), Jan. 2, 1 p.m. ET
LOCATION: Arlington, Texas
Tulane: RB Tyjae Spears, 1,376 yards rushing, 15 touchdowns.
Southern California: QB Caleb Williams, 4,075 yards passing, 37 touchdowns, 4 interceptions; 372 yards rushing, 10 touchdowns.
Tulane: The Green Wave won the American Athletic Conference title Saturday by beating UCF 45-28. Went from 2-10 last season to first 10-win season and national ranking since 1998, matching FBS record for largest year-to-year improvement.
Southern California: With chance to get in the four-team College Football Playoff, the Trojans lost 47-24 to Utah in the Pac-12 championship game Friday night. The Trojans have already matched their largest win increase between seasons, from 4-8 last year to 11-2 in coach Lincoln Riley’s first season.
Southern California 20, Tulane 13, Dec. 21, 1946.
Tulane: First appearance in Cotton Bowl, 15th bowl game in school history.
Southern California: Third appearance in Cotton Bowl, 56th bowl game in school history.