The Texas Bowl is a post-season NCAA-sanctioned Division I FBS college football bowl game that has been held for the first time in 2006 in Houston, Texas. The bowl replaces the now-defunct Houston Bowl, which was played annually from 2000 to 2005. The first bowl game in Houston was the Bluebonnet Bowl, played from 1959 through 1987. The defending Texas Bowl champions are the Rice Owls, who defeated the Western Michigan Broncos last year.
Recently, speculation had surfaced questioning the long-term survival of the former Houston Bowl. The three-year contract with EV1.net expired on December 31, 2005, leaving the bowl game without a title sponsor. A college football official told the Houston Chronicle that the bowl was in danger of ceasing operations, as a result of the game losing its title sponsor and because the Houston Bowl still owed roughly $600,000 to the Big 12 and Mountain West conferences following the 2005 game. However, the NCAA approved Lone Star Sports and Entertainment, a division of the NFL's Houston Texans, who also play in Reliant Stadium, to take over game management. Then on July 20, the NFL Network acquired both TV rights and naming rights to the bowl, which was played on December 28.
The Texas Bowl name and logo were officially unveiled on August 10, 2006 at a press conference along with the conference affiliations for the bowl spots. The Big 12, Big East and Conference USA will be affiliated with the game, as well as Texas Christian University of the Mountain West. The 2006 matchup featured teams from the Big 12 and Big East Conferences.
On December 3, 2006, Rutgers accepted an invitation to play Kansas State on December 28 at Reliant Stadium. “We’re ecstatic about having Rutgers,” Texas Bowl director David Brady said. “This is a top-15 team that was three yards away from a BCS game. We couldn’t be happier to have them here.”
On May 17, 2007, Conference USA announced that it would have a team in the 2007 Texas Bowl. The Texas Bowl has a rotating commitment with the Big East Conference and Conference USA for 2006–2009 while the Big 12 Conference will have a team in all four of those games. In 2007, TCU took the place of the Big 12 team when Kansas and Oklahoma were put into the BCS, and , a "home team", represented C-USA. The conferences would receive $612,500 each as per the rules of the agreements as usually, the Big East (or Big 12) would have received $750,000 for playing and C-USA would have received a $500,000 stipend for their team playing.
See main article: 2007 Texas Bowl.
See main article: 2006 Texas Bowl.
|Date||Winning team||Losing team||Attendance||TV||notes|
|December 28, 2006||Rutgers||37||Kansas State||10||52,210||NFL Network||notes|
|December 28, 2007||TCU||20||13||62,097||NFL Network||notes|
|December 30, 2008||Rice||38||Western Michigan||14||58,880||NFL Network||notes|