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Team Alert

Texas Longhorns and Their Long Road to Bowl Eligibility

After Maryland put a 50-burger on the University of Texas to start the season, there were major concerns in Austin that it would be a loooooong season for first year head coach Tom Herman. No one, and by no one, I mean NO ONE, saw that coming. Maryland had (most of its firepower was lost to injury this season) a ton of weaponry that it sprung on the Texas defense and it was a horrid look for the Longhorns to start the 2017 campaign, especially so after allowing opponents 31.5 points per game in 2016.

Fast forward about 12 weeks or so and take a look at the Texas Longhorns defensive unit now. After Maryland’s 50 point output, the Longhorns defense has yielded just over 20 points a game, which is a near impossibility in the offensively potent Big 12. It held nearly every offense on its schedule under that unit’s scoring average, with one unusual exception (Kansas). Against West Virginia, the Longhorns held West Virginia to a measly 56 yards on the ground (WVU averaged over 160 yards per game heading into the game) and 295 yards of total offense. The win over West Virginia also made the Longhorns bowl eligible after being shut out of a bowl in 2016.

The play of the Longhorns defense saved the season, so to speak. The offense had moments of brilliance this year, but it’s been inconsistent to say the least. Defensive coordinator Todd Orlando has turned around defenses at nearly every single stop on his coaching journey and now he’s done it in Austin as well. Because of the play of the Texas defense, Orlando, Herman and the Longhorns will be playing a 13th game this season and that’s certainly a step in the right direction.

By: John Harris

Press Release

ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS NAMED THE NEW TITLE SPONSOR OF THE TEXAS BOWL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017

HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports and Entertainment and ESPN Events today announced Academy Sports + Outdoors as the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl, a collegiate postseason showdown between teams from the Big 12 and the Southeastern conferences. Academy Sports + Outdoors will serve as the title sponsor through the 2019 bowl game. Entering its 12th year, the Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans.

The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT, at NRG Stadium in Houston and will be televised on ESPN. The Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events and it is its most attended in recent years.

“We are excited to welcome Academy Sports + Outdoors as the new title sponsor for the Texas Bowl,” said Clint Overby, Vice President of ESPN Events. “Their ties and commitment to the community make them uniquely suited to be a significant part of the game. We are proud of the growth of the Bowl over the years and look forward to this new relationship.”

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has ranked fourth in bowl game attendance since 2014, averaging over 70,000 attendees and trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. The bowl boasts over 20,000 local season ticket holders and has already sold over 50,000 tickets to date for this year’s game prior to team announcements on Sunday, Dec. 3.

“Academy Sports + Outdoors has been a Texas tradition for nearly 80 years, and becoming the title sponsor of the Texas Bowl was a natural fit,” said J.K. Symancyk, President & CEO of Academy Sports + Outdoors. “As Houston’s hometown sporting goods retailer, we’re proud to partner on a major event that brings football fans together and showcases our great city.”

The Bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy. Through the Bowl’s relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.2 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

“We are proud and excited to welcome Academy Sports + Outdoors as the title partner of the Texas Bowl,” said Jamey Rootes, President of the Houston Texans and Lone Star Sports and Entertainment. “Our friends at Academy share our passion to do great things for Houston and our entire community will benefit greatly from this association. The Texas Bowl has become the fourth best attended bowl game in America because of the large and loyal football fan base across the region that passionately follow the Big 12 and the SEC. Having our hometown sporting goods retailer as our teammate will help the Texas Bowl achieve an even higher level of success and deliver even greater impact year round for the Houston area.”

In 2014, an agreement with the SEC gave the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl the ability to showcase two of the country’s premier conferences against one another through 2019. After the selection process for the College Football Playoff National Championship, Sugar Bowl, Rose Bowl, Peach Bowl, Orange Bowl, Fiesta Bowl and Citrus Bowl, the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is one of six games in a pool that the Conference, in consultation with the institutions and the bowls, makes assignments from all eligible SEC teams. The extension with the Big 12 that occurred during the agreement in 2014 with the SEC resulted in a higher selection order for the game. Once the CFP has filled its bowl slots, Big 12 bowl partners make selections from the remaining bowl eligible teams.

In 2016, the Kansas State Wildcats were victorious over the Texas A&M Aggies in a 33-28 win in front of a crowd of 68,412. The 2016 game was among the top-five most-attended bowls in the country for the third consecutive year and the fourth most attended edition of the bowl in its 11-year history.

For more information, visit academytexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next three years. The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.2 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

About Academy Sports + Outdoors

At Academy Sports + Outdoors, we make it easier for everyone to enjoy more sports and outdoor activities. At each of our 240+ locations, we carry a wide range of hunting, fishing and camping equipment, patio sets and barbeque grills, along with sports and recreation products, at everyday low prices. For all. For less. For more information about Academy Sports + Outdoors visit academy.com.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (Houston); AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACT:

Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl and LSSE Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @Anna_ESPN

Academy Sports + Outdoors Contact: Allan Rojas, (281) 944-6048 or allan.rojas@academy.com

Press Release

THE TEXAS BOWL TO ANNOUNCE NEW TITLE SPONSOR ON WEDNESDAY, NOV. 15

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017

HOUSTON – Lone Star Sports and Entertainment and ESPN Events will announce the new title sponsor of the Texas Bowl on Wednesday, Nov. 15. Entering its 12th year, the Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment, an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans.

Media in attendance will have the opportunity to interview Houston Texans and Lone Start Sports and Entertainment President Jamey Rootes as well as a representative from the Bowl’s new title sponsor after the announcement.

The 2017 game, showcasing teams from the Big 12 and Southeastern conferences, will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston and will be televised on ESPN. The Texas Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

For more information on the Texas Bowl, visit thetexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next three years. The Texas Bowl has been a tremendous success both on and off the field over the years. The game has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014 behind only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. In terms of its community impact, the bowl has generated an average of $50 million annually for the Houston economy and through its relationship with DePelchin Children’s Center, its official charitable beneficiary, more than $1.2 million in financial support has been donated to the city’s oldest children’s charity.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football

AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); DXL Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Texas Bowl (Houston); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACT:
Texas Bowl and LSSE Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com

ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @Anna_ESPN

###

Team Alert

TCU-OKLAHOMA PART OF HISTORIC COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEKEND

For the first time in 15 years, a day of college football will include three top-10 matchups. And the Big 12 is at the center of it.

The meeting between No. 5 Oklahoma and No. 6 TCU in Norman, Okla., joins No. 1 Georgia vs. No. 10 Auburn and No. 3 Notre Dame vs. No. 7 Miami as Saturday’s trio of top-10 showdowns. It’s the first day with three such games since Oct. 12, 2002.

Interestingly, that day also involved games featuring Oklahoma, Georgia and Miami, with each of those teams winning their respective games. The No. 2 Sooners defeated No. 3 Texas, 35-24. Georgia, ranked sixth, won 18-13 over 10th-ranked Tennessee. No. 1 Miami inched past No. 9 Florida State, 28-27.

All three of this year’s carry heavy College Football Playoff implications, as any losing team would suffer a severe drop in its playoff chances as a result. The Big 12 matchup specifically is a playoff elimination game, with either team at risk of suffering its second loss. The winner is best positioned for a run to the playoff and conference championship game, while the loser is likely out of the playoff but still capable of earning a spot in the Big 12 title game.

Georgia can help minimize chaos by defeating Auburn, while a Tigers victory would make the Iron Bowl with No. 2 Alabama a must-watch matchup for all those with playoff interests.

Norte Dame is hoping to knock a conference or two, including the Big 12, out of the playoff, while Miami is trying to keep its perfect season alive.

For the Big 12 to make the playoff, the winner of Oklahoma-TCU likely needs to also win the conference title. A 12-1 conference champ would be tough to leave out, so this weekend’s results in any of the three games will have a large impact down the line.

By: Nathan Ruiz, diehards.com [view article]

Team Alert

Bedlam Will Be Bedlam

Oklahomans refer to it as Bedlam. Oklahoma v. Oklahoma State or Oklahoma State v. Oklahoma, depending on the shade of orange or crimson on your person. Over the past decade and a half, these two have met for not just bragging rights, but a potential spot in the Big 12 Championship game, a potential Big 12 Championship crown and/or a possible spot in the College Football Playoffs. This year is no different.

The Sooners will travel to Stillwater as the number five team in the country, with an outstanding win over Ohio State on the road but a heartbreaking loss to Iowa State at home. Since losing at home to TCU, the eleventh ranked Cowboys have won four in a row, prior to the Sooners visit on Saturday.

Iowa State awaits Oklahoma State next week, but there’s no Cowboy looking beyond the Sooners this week. Why? Well, it’s pretty obvious, but for there to be anything special left on the table for the Cowboys, a win over the Sooners is a necessity. Same for the Sooners. A second conference loss more than likely eliminates either team from the Big 12 Championship game race.

However, like a 1990s informercial…there’s so much more. Quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Mason Rudolph won’t step on the field at the same time, but they’ll engage in a back and forth showdown that could be one of the best quarterback shootouts in college football this season. Both are still in the running for nearly every single postseason award, including the Heisman Trophy. Mayfield is thought to be a frontrunner for the prestigious Heisman alongside Saquon Barkley (Penn State), but Rudolph can inject himself into the conversation with a Rudolph-like performance on this massive stage.

There’s a mullet. There are two transcendent quarterbacks. There’s hate. There’s a first year, rookie head coach. There’s hate, sports hate, though (I think). There’s Bedlam and this year, there will be plenty of it in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon.

By: John Harris

Press Release

TICKETS FOR THE 2017 TEXAS BOWL GO ON SALE TODAY, WEDNESDAY, NOV. 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017

HOUSTON – Tickets for the 2017 Texas Bowl will go on sale to the general public today, Wednesday, Nov. 1 at 10 a.m. CT.

This year’s game showcasing teams from the Big 12 and SEC will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT at NRG Stadium in Houston and will be televised nationally on ESPN. The Texas Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

Ticket prices range from $37-150 and may be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, on the phone at 832-667-2390 or in person at the NRG Stadium box office inside Bud Light Plaza. Special group packages are available by calling 832-667-2390. Fans can also call 832-667-2160 for more information on suites and premium hospitality.  To date, over 44,000 seats have already been sold for the 2017 game.

Last year’s Texas Bowl saw the Kansas State Wildcats defeat the Texas A&M Aggies 33-28. The 2016 game was among the top-five most-attended bowls in the country for the third consecutive year. The Texas Bowl has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014, trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time.

For more information, visit www.thetexasbowl.com or follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Texas Bowl

The Texas Bowl is owned and operated by ESPN Events and managed locally by Lone Star Sports & Entertainment. The Bowl will showcase teams from the Big 12 and the SEC, two of the country’s premier conferences, for the next three years. The Texas Bowl has ranked fourth in attendance since 2014, averaging over 70,000 attendees and trailing only the Rose, Cotton and Peach Bowls in that time. The bowl generates nearly $50 million annually for the Houston economy and has donated over $1,200,000 in financial support and millions more in promotional support to DePelchin Children’s Center, the bowl’s official charitable beneficiary.

ESPN Events
ESPN Events, a division of ESPN, owns and operates a large portfolio of 31 collegiate sporting events worldwide. The roster includes three Labor Day weekend college football games; FCS opening-weekend game; 14 college bowl games, 11 college basketball events and two college award shows, which accounts for approximately 300-plus hours of programming, reaches almost 64 million viewers and attracts over 700,000 attendees each year. With satellite offices in Albuquerque, Birmingham, Boca Raton, Boise, Dallas-Fort Worth, Honolulu, Las Vegas, Montgomery and St. Petersburg, ESPN Events builds relationships with conferences, schools and local communities, as well as providing unique experiences for teams and fans.

ESPN Events also manages the Big 12 Corporate Partner Program.

Collegiate Football
AdvoCare Texas Kickoff (Houston); Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl (Florida); Bahamas Bowl (Nassau); Birmingham Bowl (Alabama); Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); Frisco Bowl (Frisco, Texas); Gildan New Mexico Bowl (Albuquerque); Guardian Credit Union FCS Kickoff (Montgomery, Ala.); Hawai’i Bowl (Honolulu); Las Vegas Bowl (Nevada); Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth); MEAC/SWAC Challenge (Baton Rouge, La.); Raycom Media Camellia Bowl (Montgomery, Ala.); Texas Bowl (Houston); The Home Depot College Football Awards (Atlanta) and Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl (Dallas-Fort Worth)

Collegiate Basketball

AdvoCare Invitational (Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla.); Armed Forces Classic (Ramstein Air Base, Germany); College Basketball Awards Presented by Wendy’s (Los Angeles); Gildan Charleston Classic (South Carolina); Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Honolulu); Jimmy V Men’s  Classic presented by Corona (New York City); Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (Hartford, Conn.); NIT Season Tip-Off (Brooklyn, N.Y.); PK80 presented by State Farm (Portland, Ore.); Puerto Rico Tip-Off (San Juan); State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment

Lone Star Sports & Entertainment is an event management company founded in 2003 that is closely affiliated with the NFL’s Houston Texans. Since its founding, LSSE has established itself as the leading sports event promoter in Houston. In addition to the Texas Bowl and the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, LSSE has emerged as a premier promoter for international soccer matches, including the 2017 Manchester Derby, Copa America Centenario, the 2010 MLS All-Star Game featuring Manchester United, the 2006 FC Barcelona U.S. tour, 2003 and 2008 matches between the United States and Mexico, and the 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cups. LSSE has also reinvigorated the Battle of the Piney Woods presented by H-E-B rivalry between Stephen F. Austin and Sam Houston State and has promoted major concerts featuring country superstars including George Strait and Kenny Chesney.

CONTACT:

Texas Bowl Contact: Allie LeClair, (832) 667-2050 or allie.leclair@houstontexans.com
ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron, (860) 766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com; @Anna_ESPN

###

Press Release

TEXAS BOWL GRIDIRON LEGENDS WEEKEND EVENTS

BENEFITTING THE HOUSTON TEXANS FOUNDATION AND DEPELCHIN CHILDREN’S CENTER STARTS WITH COMMUNITY TAILGATE IN ROCKPORT

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
Thursday, Oct. 19, 2017

DATE TIME EVENT ATTENDEES LOCATION
Friday, Oct. 20 3:30 – 7:30 p.m. Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Rockport Tailgate Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Dat Nguyen, Curly Culp, Robert Brazile, Johnny Roland, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Bill Bradley Rockport Fulton High School
Saturday, Oct. 21 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. DePelchin Day of Caring Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Billy Johnson, Robert Brazile, Curley Culp, Don Trull, Johnny Roland, Jerry Levias, Chase Clement, Kenny Houston, Charles Alexander, Gerald McNeil, Texas Bowl Board Members and Texas Bowl Committee Chairs Home of Christi Fisher
Sunday, Oct. 22 2 – 5 p.m. DePelchin Family Day presented by H-E-B Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends DePelchin Children’s Center Main Campus
Monday, Oct. 23 12:30 – 7 p.m. Gridiron Legends Golf Tournament presented by Lexus Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends John McClain, Andre Ware and other Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course

 

TEXAS BOWL GRIDIRON LEGENDS ROCKPORT TAILGATE
WHO: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Dat Nguyen, Curly Culp, Robert Brazile, Johnny Roland, Billy “White Shoes” Johnson and Bill Bradley

WHERE: Rockport Fulton High School
1801 Omohundro Streett
Rockport, TX 78382

PARKING: Media should park in the school’s public parking lot.

WHEN: Friday, Oct. 20
3:20 – 7:30 p.m.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends will join fellow Legend and Rockport native Dat Nguyen in hosting a community tailgate at Rockport Fulton High School ahead of the team taking on Somerset High School on Friday, Oct. 20. This game marks the return of Friday Night Lights for Rockport Fulton and is the first football game in Rockport for the school since the devastation the town faced from Hurricane Harvey. This event is free to the public and supported by the generosity of H-E-B, Earl Campbell’s Sausage, Aztec Tents & Events, Houston Airport Marriott and TexanLive.com.

The Gridiron Legends will kick off the event at 3:20 p.m. as they participate in the school pep rally with the Fulton HS football team and visit with the players in the locker room. The community tailgate will open at 4:45 p.m. and have giveaways and food including product from Pro Football and College Football Hall of Fame member, Heisman Trophy winner and Texas Bowl Gridiron Legend Earl Campbell. The Gridiron Legends in attendance will be recognized on-field before the game kicks off at 7:30 p.m.

DEPELCHIN DAY OF CARING
WHO: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, Robert Brazile, Curley Culp, Don Trull, Johnny Roland, Jerry Levias, Chase Clement, Kenny Houston, Charles Alexander, Gerald McNeil, Texas Bowl Board Members and Texas Bowl Committee Chairs

WHERE: Home of Christi Fisher
21539 Hughes Ct.
Porter, TX 77365

PARKING: Media should park in public parking.

WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 21, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends, Texas Bowl Board Members and Texas Bowl Committee Chairs will be present at a community project on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the home of single mother to five, Christi Fisher, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. Christi has one biological son along with three adopted children and one foster child soon to be adopted, all from DePelchin Children’s Center. These Texas Bowl representatives will help complete home renovations to improve the environment for Christi and her family.

DEPELCHIN FAMILY DAY PRESENTED BY H-E-B
WHO: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends

WHERE: DePelchin Children’s Center Main Campus
4950 Memorial Drive
Houston, TX 77007

PARKING: Media should park in DePelchin’s public parking.

WHEN: Sunday, Oct. 22
2 – 5 p.m.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends will join past and present DePelchin families, staff and community supporters in a celebration of 125 years of family roots on Sunday, Oct. 22 from 2 – 5 p.m. This event will feature live music, games and fall festival activities at DePelchin’s main campus in Houston.

GRIDIRON LEGENDS GOLF TOURNAMENT PRESENTED BY LEXUS
WHO: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends John McClain, Andre Ware and other Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends

WHERE: Golf Club of Houston Tournament Course
5860 Wilson Rd.
Humble, TX 77396

PARKING: Media should park in the public parking offered by the club.

WHEN: Monday, Oct. 23, 12:30 – 7 p.m.

EVENT DESCRIPTION: Texas Bowl Gridiron Legends John McClain, Andre Ware and more will be in attendance at the Gridiron Legends Golf Tournament presented by Lexus on Monday, Oct. 23 to support DePelchin Children’s Center. For more information, visit http://www.thetexasbowl.com/golf/. This event will bring together golf and legendary sports figures as each team of four is paired with a Gridiron Legend. The sold-out tournament has raised a record amount this year in support of DePelchin Children’s Center.

Registration begins at 11:30 a.m., lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m., the shotgun start will occur at 1:30 p.m. and the tournament will close with the awards ceremony presented by TDECU during cocktails and dinner starting at 6:30 p.m.

– END –

Team Alert

How the Unranked Iowa State Cyclones Defeated No. 3 Oklahoma

Matt Campbell’s Iowa State squad was undeterred, undaunted and ready to knock off the undefeated, the home standing, third ranked Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, mind you. Unfortunately, they were 31 point underdogs and the quarterback situation was seemingly a mess. Yet, when the clock hit all zeroes last Saturday, the Cyclones had upset Oklahoma 38-31 on the backs of two of the most unlikely quarterbacks to take snaps in 2017: one that had never started an FBS game and a starting linebacker that was a starting quarterback in 2016. Huh? Well, let me explain.

When starting quarterback Jacob Park was ruled out for the matchup with the Sooners, the Cyclones were left with starting Kyle Kempt. After waiting four long years, with stops at one FBS school, one JUCO stint and a walk on situation at Iowa State, Kempt finally got his chance under center. All he did was throw for 343 yards and three touchdown passes, including the stunning game winner to All-Big 12 star receiver Allen Lazard. Kempt had thrown just two passes in his two years at Iowa State and none in 2017. Of course, that was until Saturday in Norman. He was a star out of high school at Massillon Washington High School in Ohio and originally signed with Oregon State. After two years in Corvallis not getting on the field, he transferred to Hutchinson Community College where he didn’t even play football. He then decided to walk on at Iowa State and made history on Saturday two years after he arrived on campus.

When the Cyclones needed to give a different look or Kempt needed a rest, Campbell turned to starting linebacker Joel Lanning…to play quarterback. The senior was asked in the off-season to move to linebacker and he accepted the job after spending all of 2016 under center at quarterback. Throughout the first four games, Lanning wasn’t used at quarterback with the emergence of Park as the starter, but with Park out, Campbell had no choice but to use Lanning on both offense and defense. All Lanning did was post eight tackles, a sack and a fumble recovery on defense and complete two of three passing for 23 yards and register 35 yards rushing on nine carries. The days of two way players died long ago, but Lanning brought them back for at least one day, anyway.

The Cyclones now have to deal with that success and prepare for Kansas. However, with these two leading the way, Iowa State is in good hands, unusual though the path was for them to get there.

By: John Harris

Team Alert

Is Saquon Barkley the Best Running Back Since Barry Sanders?

Earlier this week, I was a guest on the Triple Threat, the top ranked sports radio show in the city of Houston. Ted Johnson, a three time Super Bowl winner with the Patriots and an All-American linebacker with the Colorado Buffaloes, asked me a question that really stumped me.

“John, is Penn State’s Saquon Barkley the best running back since Barry Sanders?”

My mind started racing. Barry Sanders won the Heisman Trophy in 1988 after the greatest rushing season in college football history, but that was nearly 30 years ago. There have been some great college running backs in that time, but were any of them at the level of Sanders? More importantly, were any of them in the class of Barkley?

Barkley strung together one highlight reel play after another on Saturday night in Iowa City against the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Nittany Lions came from behind to win the game on the final play of the game, but they would’ve been upset had it not been for Barkley’s performance. He finished with 211 yards on 28 carries and a touchdown and recorded 12 receptions for 94 yards in addition. Tack on 53 yards on kick returns and he finished with a Sanders-like 358 all-purpose yards. On national television. On the road. In a must win conference game situation.

40 touches. FORTY is just phenomenal, but every single time he touched the rock, he produced a “did you see that kind of moment?”. Penn State blew out its first three opponents, so he had plenty of time to stock up for the matchup with Iowa.

He faces Indiana on Saturday in Happy Valley with another opportunity to show the nation that he’s not only the best back in the nation, but the best player in the nation. Perhaps the best since Barry Sanders too.

By: John Harris

Team Alert

67,000 Iowa Fans Start a New, Heartwarming Home Game Tradition

Back in the 1980s, fans around professional sports started a movement called the Wave. You’ve seen it. Fans standing intermittently throughout a Stadium; lo and behold, it looks like a wave of humans moving, hence the name.

Well, the good people of Iowa have started a new version of the wave and this one, oh, this one is special. It started on September 2 when the Hawkeyes took on the Wyoming Cowboys in the opening game of the season. During the first quarter, the Iowa fans, in unison turned their backs to the field and waved.

Just waved?

Yes, they turned and waved. Why? Kids.

Construction on the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital was completed in February 2017 and the upper floors overlook Kinnick Stadium. Kids of all ages, dealing with numerous complications and illnesses, occupy the rooms on the floors of the Children’s Hospital and the Hawkeye fans decided, all 67,000+ in unison, to pay their respects and wave hello to the kids watching from above in their rooms. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz has been one of the Hospital’s champions, donating over a $1M to the Hospital, so the tone from the top has consistently been one of generosity, support and, most importantly, love.

So, how did the Wave, Iowa style, come to be? Well, through social media, of course. Back in the spring, on the popular Facebook page Hawkeye Heaven, a follower named Krista Young suggested that that fans should wave to the kids in the hospital during a game at Kinnick Stadium. Levi Thompson, who runs Hawkeye Heaven, took the idea and ran with it and the smiles haven’t stopped coming from those kids at the hospital and the waves will never stop from the fans in black and gold…and the tears haven’t stopped coming from the parents sitting by the kid’s bed side.

The Hawkeyes are 3-0 and will face one of the best teams in the country, Penn State on Saturday night. They may take an L against a tough Nittany Lion team, but right now, the Hawkeyes are number one in a lot of kids’ minds and that’s all that really matters.

By: John Harris