* HOUSTON* – The University of Houston Cougars will represent Conference USA in the 2007 Texas Bowl, it was announced today. Texas Bowl officials offered the Cougars a bid to play in the game following Houston's 59-6 victory of Texas Southern, and the team accepted.
The Houston Cougars have an 8-4 record this season, including a 6-2 record in Conference USA. This is the Cougars' third consecutive winning season and their third consecutive bowl appearance. Last year, Houston claimed the Conference USA title and faced the University of South Carolina in the Liberty Bowl. In 2005, they squared off against Kansas in the Fort Worth Bowl.
Cougars head coach Art Briles is in his fifth season at the helm and has posted a 34-28 record. Last season, Briles was honored by his fellow Conference USA coaches as the 2006 Conference USA Coach of the Year and was also named the Sportexe 2006 Division 1-A National Football Coach of the Year.
"We are so pleased to have the Cougars in the Texas Bowl this season and we look forward to hosting them and their fans at Reliant Stadium," said Texas Bowl director David Brady. "With over 37,000 tickets already sold for the game, this is a great chance for a lot of Houston football fans to see an exciting hometown team. It is also a great chance for Cougar fans and alumni to experience their team in a great bowl game without having to leave Houston."
The 2007 Texas Bowl will be played on Friday, December 28 at Reliant Stadium and will feature teams from the Big 12 and Conference USA. The game will be televised nationally on NFL Network. DePelchin Children's Center, Houston's oldest charitable organization, is the official charitable partner of the Texas Bowl.
The Texas Bowl is in its second year after the NCAA awarded the bowl to the city of Houston on June 28, 2006. Rutgers defeated Kansas State, 37-10, in the inaugural Texas Bowl on December 28, 2006. That first-ever game drew 52,210 fans, which made it the largest crowd in Houston history to see a college bowl game that didn't involve a Texas team. The Texas Bowl Committee is organized by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, a third-party event management affiliate of the Houston Texans.
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