In the sticky mess that is the college football postseason, 34 different bowl games now exist. Some bowls don't come with a lot of prestige or exposure, and those are the sort of bowls ISU generally gets invited to. In the spirit of getting to know these potential bowl destinations a little bit better, I present to you the "Better Know a Bowl" series. Next up: The Texas Bowl!
The Texas Bowl is a 3 year old bowl game that replaced the Houston Bowl, which ran from 2000 to 2005. (Iowa State lost the final Houston Bowl in 2005 to TCU, 27-24.) The Houston Bowl was an attempt to resurrect the Bluebonnet Bowl, which started in 1959, and lasted until financial difficulties and lack of a sponsor caused the bowl to go broke. The Bluebonnet bowl was a semi-respectable bowl at one point, usually pitting a team from Texas against an at-large team in sort of a "Texas vs. the World" type bowl.
The fun thing about a relatively new bowl such as this one are that the records aren't real high yet and can be attained by mere mortals. For example, should Iowa State win this bowl, they will be in a 4-way tie for most Texas bowl wins by a team (1). The Big 12 representative in this game gets a $750,000 payout, which I think we have to share with the other schools in the conference. Just like Texas shares their 17 million dollar payout for their appearance in the National Championship, should they manage to get by Nebraska.
Iowa State has been slated into this bowl by a lot of people who feel that we will be the last bowl eligible team to be picked from the Big XII. And to be honest, until Texas A&M woke up and game Texas a bit of a game, we would have been a lock for the Independence and (aTm) would have probably ended up here. (They still might, considering the history of the bowl and teams from Texas tend to sell more tickets.) Navy has already accepted a bid to the Texas Bowl and would be Iowa State's opponent should they end up here. This would make the Cyclones the third team this year to play both Army and Navy. (The other two being Temple and Air Force.)
The game will be held at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas on December 31st. The Houston Texans are a main sponsor of the bowl, and the NFL Network has TV broadcasting rights, so if you're like me and don't know anyone with the NFL Network you're likely to end up in a bar on New Year's Eve. But that's a sacrifice I'm willing to make.
I'll be back Friday with a look at the last potential bowl destination: The Insight Bowl.