The Texas Bowl participating conferences are looking more and more competitive each week as the college football season progresses. The Big East's winning percentage versus non-conference opponents (.778) is currently the best in the history of the league. The Big 12 Conference has five teams still ranked in the top 25, and the Big 12 North is back in the race.
The Big 12 Conference had an exciting weekend with numerous big games and close scores. Last week's "Game of the Week" was intense when the Texas Longhorns overcame a three-point halftime deficit and shut out the Oklahoma Sooners in the second half, prevailing 28-10. Texas forced six fumbles and five turnovers, including four in the final quarter. The loss drops Oklahoma to 3-2 overall and crumbled the Sooners' dreams of ruling the Big 12. The winner of the Texas-Oklahoma game played for the crown each of the past seven years.
Missouri has definitely earned the respect that people have been denying them by soundly defeating Texas Tech, 38-21, breaking the 11-game home winning streak for the Red Raiders. The Tigers are now 6-0 and 2-0 in the Big 12. This is Mizzou's best start since 1973 and now stands as the only undefeated team in the Big 12.
Nebraska took another step closer to ruling the Big 12 North, improving to 2-0 by defeating Iowa State 28-14 in overtime.
The Aggies defeated the Jayhawks at Kansas, 21-18, making them 5-1 and 1-1 in the Big 12. Defeating Kansas is quickly becoming a new Aggie football tradition, since A&M has never lost to the Jayhawks since the formation of the Big 12 Conference.
The Baylor Bears are now 3-3 after defeating Colorado in triple-overtime in Boulder. Baylor is tied with Texas for the conference lead in the Big 12 South at 2-0. This victory marked the first time Baylor has ever won back-to-back Big 12 games in the same season.
The Big East's "Game of the Week" for week 6, Pittsburgh vs. Syracuse, left a season-high crowd of 41,870 Orangemen upset. The Panthers defeated the Orange, 21-11, snapping a three-game winning streak for Syracuse. The Pitt defense held Syracuse to only 92 yards rushing. Next week Syracuse will take on the No. 4-ranked Mountaineers at West Virginia.
West Virginia won on the road at Mississippi State, 42-14. The Mountaineers have now won 12 straight games dating back to last season, which is the second-longest winning streak in the nation.
Cincinnati was victorious last weekend when they rallied from a 14-0 deficit to defeat Akron, 20-14. The Bearcats travel to No. 8 Louisville next weekend to face the undefeated Cardinals.
USF defeated Connecticut at home, 38-16, making them 1-1 in their conference and 4-2 overall. The Bulls will travel to North Carolina next Saturday and the Huskies will host Army, wrapping up their non-conference games.
Trying to predict the teams that will participate in the Texas Bowl proves to be a tough challenge as many surprises and upsets occur every weekend. Both the Big 12 and Big East conferences are showing many potential contenders worthy enough for bowl eligibility, assuring that the inaugural Texas Bowl game will be a fantastic match-up.