The Big 12 and the SEC will square off at Reliant Stadium starting in December 2014, giving the Texas Bowl the ability to showcase two of the country's premier conferences against one another for the next six years.
The Texas Bowl will be part of a selection pool that takes place after teams are chosen for the College Football Playoff and the Capital One Bowl. Conferences will make assignments for pool bowls upon consultation with member institutions. The Belk Bowl, Gator Bowl, Liberty Bowl, Music City Bowl, and the Outback Bowl are the other games with an SEC pool selection. The addition of the SEC to the Texas Bowl ensures both conferences will have a major bowl presence in Texas.
"The SEC is pleased to welcome the Texas Bowl to our post-season lineup," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive. "I'm glad we can take SEC football into the state of Texas in the post-season on an annual basis for an attractive matchup with a Big 12 opponent. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the Texas Bowl."
"We are proud and excited to welcome the SEC to the Texas Bowl," said Jamey Rootes, President of the Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. "Today represents another important milestone in our quest to make the Texas Bowl an elite college football event, which is a source of pride for the city of Houston and a cherished annual tradition for football fans across the region."
Big 12 and SEC 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 placed 90 percent of its teams in 2012 postseason bowl games to set a record for the highest percentage in college football history.
"The Big 12 values its presence in the Houston area and the role it has played in the growth of the Texas Bowl," said Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby. "We are excited to continue our relationship with Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, the Houston Texans, and ESPN Regional Television in the management of this event."
The Texas Bowl also moved up in the selection order among Big 12 affiliated bowls. Beginning in 2014, the Texas Bowl will hold the fourth selection after the playoff seeds are announced. The Texas Bowl has been affiliated with the Big 12 since the bowl's inception in 2006.
The 2013 Texas Bowl will be played on Friday, Dec. 27, 2013, at Reliant Stadium and will be televised nationally by ESPN. Kickoff is scheduled for 5 p.m. CST. Fans who attend the 2013 Texas Bowl will receive first priority to secure seats for the 2014 game and beyond.
The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over its first six years. The bowl has generated an average of $30 million per year for the Houston economy. The bowl boasts more than 15,000 season ticket holders and sold more than 30,000 tickets before its teams were announced last year.
Over its six-year history, the Texas Bowl has donated more than $600,000 and more than $12 million in promotional support and publicity to DePelchin Children's Center, the bowl's official charitable beneficiary.
Last year, fans saw Texas Tech defeat Minnesota, 34-31. D.J. Johnson returned an interception 39 yards late in the fourth quarter and Ryan Bustin made a 28-yard field goal as time expired to give Texas Tech the comeback victory.
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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