The Mississippi State Bulldogs are the pick out of the Southeastern Conference to play Rice in the Liberty Bowl on Dec. 31 in Memphis.
Liberty Bowl officials made the announcement Sunday night.
Bowl officials passed over Vanderbilt (8-4) who played in Memphis two years ago.
Picking Mississippi State gives bowl officials a team marking the 50th anniversary of its first game in this bowl. The Bulldogs beat North Carolina State 16-12 in 1963 when this bowl was played in Philadelphia, Pa.
The Bulldogs (6-6) needed overtime to beat Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl to become bowl eligible for a fourth straight season.
Rice (10-3) accepted its berth Saturday after beating Marshall 41-24 in the Conference USA championship game.