Big 12, Big Ten to face off in Texas Bowl in 2010


Current Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice starred for Rutgers against Kansas State in the 2006 Texas Bowl.

Texas Bowl now has fifth selection after BCS among Big 12 bowls

HOUSTON - Beginning in 2010, the Texas Bowl will pit two of the country's premier conferences against one another. Teams from the Big 12 and the Big Ten will square off at Reliant Stadium in late December, 2010.

The Texas Bowl also moved up in the selection order among Big 12-affiliated bowls. Beginning in 2010, the Texas Bowl will hold the fifth choice after the BCS bowls are announced. The bowl has held the seventh choice for the last four years. The Texas Bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 since the bowl's inception in 2006.

"When we took the bowl over in 2006, the vision was clear: to bring two teams from BCS conferences to Houston on New Year's," Texas Bowl manager Heather Houston said. "This dream is now a reality with today's announcement. While we have had great success with our matchups over the last three years, this new partnership with the Big 12 and Big Ten conferences guarantees our fans the chance to see two football powerhouses play at Reliant Stadium in 2010 and beyond. We are extremely thankful to our Board of Directors, sponsors, volunteers and fans who helped bring this vision to life."

Big 12 and Big Ten conference members have produced a combined 29 Associated Press national champions and 28 Heisman Trophy winners. Nine of the past 15 Heisman Trophy winners have come out of one of those two conferences.

"The Big 12 is pleased to extend its agreement with the Texas Bowl to provide a team for the next four-year cycle," Big 12 Conference commissioner Dan Beebe said. "Houston is a very significant market within the Big 12 footprint and maintaining a post-season presence in the area is very important to our programs. We look forward to our continued involvement, along with the diligent efforts of Lone Star Sports and Entertainment in growing this game."

The Big Ten will take the place of a Big East or Conference USA selection. The addition of the Big Ten ensures that the conference will continue to have a major bowl presence in Texas. A Big Ten program has played in a bowl game in Texas every year since 1995.

"We are excited to announce a four-year agreement with the Texas Bowl and make the city of Houston part of our bowl lineup for the 2010-13 seasons," Big Ten commissioner James E. Delany said. "Reliant Stadium is an outstanding facility situated in one of the largest and most vibrant cities in the country, which should provide a rewarding new experience for our student-athletes, coaches and fans. The Big Ten has played a postseason game in the state of Texas in every season since 1995, and with the number of Big Ten alumni in the state, this game is a natural fit."

The 2009 Texas Bowl will be played on Thursday, Dec. 31, 2009, at Reliant Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT. The Bowl moved to ESPN this year after airing on NFL Network for its first three years. It will be a part of ESPN's popular Capital One Bowl Week, which will feature 23 bowl games from Dec. 19 to Jan. 2.

Fans who attend the 2009 Texas Bowl will receive first priority to secure seats for the 2010 game and beyond.

The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first three years. The bowl has generated an average of $25 million per year for the Houston economy. The bowl boasts over 25,000 season ticket holders and sold over 50,000 tickets before its teams were announced last year.

Over its three-year history, the Texas Bowl has donated over $200,000 and over $5 million in promotional support and publicity to DePelchin Children's Center, the bowl's official charitable beneficiary.

Last year, a partisan crowd of 58,880 fans saw Rice capture the school's first win in a bowl game since 1954, defeating Western Michigan 38-14. Quarterback Chase Clement garnered MVP honors after passing for 307 yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 72 yards and a score, and catching a 13-yard touchdown pass.

TCU defeated the University of Houston, 20-13, in the 2007 Texas Bowl before a crowd of 62,097. The audience was the third-largest crowd ever to see a college bowl game in Houston. The 2007 Texas Bowl attracted the eighth-largest crowd among non-BCS bowls last year.

The inaugural Texas Bowl was played on Thursday, Dec. 28, 2006 at Reliant Stadium. Rutgers defeated Kansas State, 37-10, before a crowd of 52,210, the largest crowd to witness a bowl game in Houston not involving a Texas team since 1972.

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