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Press Release

THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI ACCEPT BIDS TO PLAY IN ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017

Buy Tickets

HOUSTON – The University of Texas and the University of Missouri have accepted bids to play in the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, the bowl organizing committee announced today. The University of Texas will represent the Big 12 Conference and the University of Missouri will represent the Southeastern Conference. The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 27, at 8 p.m. CT and will be televised nationally on ESPN.

“We are thrilled to announce the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl game between the University of Texas and the University of Missouri, two excellent programs from the Big 12 and SEC,” remarked Board Chairman Don Faust, Jr. “Our community is eager to host these teams and their passionate fan bases for a festive bowl week of Texas-themed events across Houston and at NRG Stadium on game day. We look forward to this exciting meeting between these two teams at this year’s Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl.”

The University of Texas and the University of Missouri have met 23 times with a 17-6 record in the Longhorns’ favor. The history between the two teams began in 1894 where the Tigers were victorious in a 28-0 shutout. One of the biggest games between the two was the 1946 Cotton Bowl where the Longhorns’ star quarterback Bobby Layne accounted for all of the team’s points in a 40-27 victory. The last meeting occurred in 2011 where the University of Missouri came out on top, 17-5, at their home field.

Ticket prices for this game range from $37-200 and may be purchased online at www.academytexasbowl.com or 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 50,000 seats have already been sold for the 2017 game.

The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will mark the University of Texas’ second visit after a 31-7 loss to the University of Arkansas in the 2014 edition of the bowl game. In his first season with the team, Head Coach Tom Herman led the Longhorns to a 6-6 regular season with a divisional record of 5-4 in the Big 12, in which they are in a four-way tie for fourth. The team has played in 53 bowl games, a tie with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln for second most in all-time bowl appearances following the University of Alabama’s record of 66. The Longhorns hold a 27-24-2 bowl record and this will be their first bowl appearance since the 2014 Texas Bowl.

This year’s trip to the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be the University of Missouri’s second visit to Houston for postseason play after a 35-13 loss to the United States Naval Academy in the 2009 edition of the bowl game. The Tigers are 15-16 overall in postseason play and have not made a bowl appearance since their 33-17 victory against the University of Minnesota in the 2015 Citrus Bowl. In their second season under Head Coach Barry Odom, the University of Missouri finished their regular season with a 7-5 record and a divisional record of 4-4 in the SEC East, which put them in a tie for third. This will be the team’s first bowl game under Odom who has led the team to a record of 11-13.

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.

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); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL 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.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (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; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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

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.

CONTACTS:

Academy Sports + Outdoors 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

###

Transcript

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS vs. UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI HEAD COACHES CONFERENCE CALLS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, December 3, 2017

UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS HEAD COACH TOM HERMAN

What are your first initial thoughts about Missouri, a team that’s won six in a row, although they didn’t play Alabama or anything, but they’re still on a six-game winning streak?

“They’re playing some of the best football in the country right now. The quarterback I think finished the season with the most touchdown throws of anybody in FBS. They’re playing really, really well offensively. Obviously, I haven’t watched them on video. I’ve been out recruiting, but I know just from the numbers that are pretty gaudy. And I want to commend Coach (Barry) Odom for, this is a guy that’s had some adversity early in his tenure there and has stayed the course and has turned this season and this team around and, like I said, they’re playing as good of football as anybody right now.”

Obviously, the big news of the week was OL Connor Williams and DB Deshon Elliott, where do you think LB Malik Jefferson stands right now, and do you expect anybody else to pull out of the bowl game?

“No, I think the rest of them will wait to get their grades back and make some informed decisions based on some of the NFL stuff.”

For you personally, what does it feel like to go back to Houston to coach your first bowl game with Texas?

“I think it’s neat. It’s a city that my family and myself have called home on a couple different occasions, at Rice, at the University of Houston. That was kind of the city that we gravitated to even in our four years in Huntsville at Sam Houston State. So, it’s a city that I have a lot of friends and people that I know back there and I’m excited to bring our team out to Houston to play in front of them.”

Just from a recruiting standpoint, what do you think a big performance and win in this bowl would do in such a hotbed for you?

“The unfortunate thing is your bowl practices are during a dead period, so not much contact with some of the recruits, but I think a lot of them have already expressed to me that they’re planning on attending the game and Houston has been good to us thus far in some of our commitments and it’s really, really good high school football as is anywhere else in the state, but it certainly would be a nice shot in the arm, just from a momentum standpoint.”

How important was it, because of the way this season went for you, to get these extra practices and this extra time with your team moving into next year?

“That is critical. This is a team that had not had that kind of development and for the last two winters had basically gone home for four weeks, five weeks, whatever Christmas break is. That development is critical in terms of staying with your competition that are going to bowl games and have that developmental time. That’s what we’re going to use the early part of bowl prep for is we’ve got a long time between now and the 27th, so we’ll focus early on just development, getting our team better, getting some of these young guys better and then start worrying more on Missouri and the game plan later in the bowl prep.”

Do you feel like the time will help take the sting away from how it ended last week?

“Yeah, I do. I think that we’re a resilient group and I think just getting on the field for practice on Friday. It was as good a practice as we’ve had, guys were flying around, they were excited to be a part of the postseason, excited to play football. So, I think the sting is gone already and we’re looking forward to this. When you win a bowl game, they call you a champion. You’re the Texas Bowl Champion or you’re the whatever, Rose Bowl Champion. So, we’ve got an opportunity now to play for a championship and send these seniors out the right way, but also develop our program and get lot of momentum heading into the offseason.”

Along those lines, just like the game against Texas Tech, you still have the chance to finish with a winning record and for this program, just how critical is it that Texas finishes with a winning record?

“Well, I think it’s important. I’m not going to downplay the importance of just winning a game, but I don’t think one number difference on either side is really going to be a make or break anything in our program. We’re going to stay the course and we’re going to continue to develop our players and we’re going to try like heck to win the thing and prepare as such. We know it’s going to be against a really good opponent in Missouri, but I don’t see it as one way or the other, if you win is it going to propel you to so many great heights or if you lose are you going to be devastated. It’s a game and losing is awful and winning is really cool and it feels really good to win and we’re going to do our best to win it, but the number on either side of the ledger, I don’t know that that has much relevance in the importance of the game.”

Do you expect anybody to miss the game that is not expected injury-wise?

“Again, I’m down here recruiting, so I don’t have all that information in front of me. I think P.J. Locke (III) will be back. Jeffrey McCulloch should be back. The guy that we’re hoping to get back if he stays on track would be Patrick Vahe. So, those three guys are, from a concern level, I would say Patrick’s number one in terms of is it going to be enough time. Jeffrey is already out there running around doing some stuff as well as P.J. So, I think we’ll be pretty good from a health standpoint.”

Is getting OL Elijah Rodriguez back for this game an option?

“He was cleared for the Texas Tech game. So, he’s been practicing with the two offensive lines right now and we’re hoping that and he’s looked pretty good doing it, so hopefully he can work his way back into the starting lineup.”

How do you feel your team matches up with this Missouri team this year?

“I think it’s too early to tell. Like I said, I got the news on where we were playing and who we were playing when I was on the road recruiting. So, all I know is, from a statistic standpoint, their offense is phenomenal and has been for the last six weeks and just doing some quick look at some of their stats, the TFLs and sacks on defense certainly stand out as well, but I’ll know a lot more when I watch video on them here in the coming days.”

Right now, you don’t know whether LB Malik Jefferson is going to play in the bowl or not?

“No, I don’t know whether he’s going to play in the bowl, whether he is going to play in the bowl, whether he’s going to declare for the NFL and still play in the bowl, whether he’s going to come back. I think all of those options are on the table and he’ll make a decision. I don’t want to speak for Malik (Jefferson) certainly, but I think he’ll make a decision after he gets the grade back from the NFL.”

What does this practice time mean for some of the young guys like TE Reese Leitao and TE Cade Brewer and any of the young guys you have on the roster?

“I mean it’s critical. It is absolutely critical, especially these true freshmen that got here in June. They haven’t had a spring ball, they haven’t had anything other than a couple weeks in training camp in terms of football development. So, any time you can extend that by 12, 15, 18 practices, that’s absolutely critical for their development. The Sam Cosmi’s of the world, the Reese Leitao’s of the world, as you said, the Montrell Estell’s and the Kobe Boyce’s of the world – it’s just going to be fantastic for them in terms of their development as they head into the offseason.”

Any word from OL Jake McMillon on what his plans are and if he and OL Terrell Cuney practicing for the bowl game?

“They are practicing and I don’t have any word or update.”

When do you think the guys will be getting their grades back?

“We put them in on Monday and I think they said seven to 10 days, but this is only the second or third time I’ve gone through this, so it’s usually been around 10 to 14 days, but I think as early as early in this week I would imagine.”

At what position is OL Elijah Rodriguez working?

“Right now, it’s at right guard, but I think the thing that we loved about Elijah (Rodriguez) through spring ball and training camp is his versatility. So, probably going to play him a little bit at tackle as well this week, but the first two practices he was at guard, but because of his versatility I think he’ll get reps at the tackle spot as well.”

Do you guys have anyone else besides TE Kendall Moore at tight end? Are you guys working anyone else in or is he going to be it for you guys?

“That’s it. That’s what we got right now. I’m sure we’ll have to – plan B would be some other form of personnel packages, whether that’s two backs and no tight end or four wide receivers and no tight end. But yeah, right now, he’s running with the first team at tight end and in practice Reese (Leitao) and Andrew Beck are getting those reps and it’s unfortunate the way the red shirt rule is. We can’t – our starting tight end is healthy, but we can’t play him because he’ll lose the entire year of eligibility and I can’t wait for, hopefully, this new rule to pass where we won’t be forced into situations like this. But, as of now, this is the way the rule states and we’re not going to waste either one of those kids’ year of eligibility on one game. So, it’ll be Kendall Moore and then we’ll get creative if we need to.”

Do you plan to approach the quarterback situation the same way you did for the Texas Tech game with QB Sam Ehlinger starting and QB Shane Buechele getting a drive or two early and then kind of taking it from there?

“I haven’t talked about it. They’ve been both – we’ve only had two practices and they’ve both taken, they’ve rotated reps with the ones and twos evenly. So, I haven’t really talked about it much. The good thing is with these bowl preps, you can put these guys in some very game-like situations, scrimmage-like situations and see how they do. So, we’ll keep evaluating them and we’ll make a decision as to the direction we’re headed after a couple weeks.”

UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI HEAD COACH BARRY ODOM

Just kind of curious to what your read is on Texas right now?

“Thanks for the question. I know that I’ve had the chance to watch a couple of games from earlier this season, just a cross over from when you are in a hotel and have a night game and maybe they had an early game, so I’ve seen them play a couple times. I got started on the video pretty soon after we learned of the announcement on getting into some preparation for them. I know they have recruited well. We have great respect for their coaching staff. I know that it will be a tremendous challenge and a great opportunity for our kids. We’ve recruited at the University of Missouri, we’ve recruited the state of Texas a very long time. We’ve had a lot of great players from that area over the years, so very familiar with their roster and the guys they have signed over the last couple of years and know that they are a talented group.”

Do you think people are excited to reignite an old conference rivalry even if it’s only for one game? 

“Yes, it’s awesome. I think anytime you have a chance to play somebody in an atmosphere, in a Bowl game like this will be, and then you add the historic references to it about having the opportunity to play somebody from a conference that you were once in, that means a great deal to our fan base and I know our kids are excited about it.”

What is the mood like around there? Just for any team to win six games at this level is just an impressive deal. How would you gauge how you guys have turned the whole season around, from where you were in mid-October to where you are now?

“Our team has shown great resolve over the course of the year. We didn’t play very well on game days early in the season. That’s obvious, very maybe the most elementary statement there is. We were doing so many really good things; we just weren’t transferring that over to playing a complete game. Finally, we started getting a little bit better, really in all three phases of the game and doing it collectively together as a football team. Getting confidence, we prepared better as the season went on. We understood who we were. Our margin of error was absolutely zero and we had to win the turnover margin. We had to play efficiently. We had to play smart as a team. Then we started doing that. If you prepare the right way through the process of the week and the game week, how it unfolds, and if you do that, then you have the opportunity to go play freely and play fast. That’s what our team has done. They have embraced the opportunity to try and get it turned around. They have done a great job of holding the rope together and all pulling in the same direction. The excitement that we have and the confidence that we have on an opportunity to go play one more together; our locker room is fired up about the opportunity and the chance to go do that.”

What has been the key about your quarterback play? He has more touchdowns than University of Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield who is getting all the Heisman talk in our neck of the woods.

“Drew (Lock) is a tremendous talent. I can’t put it into words how happy and proud I am for him, so excited that he is our starting quarterback. Tremendous leader. There is not anybody in our program and I don’t think in college football that puts in more time and effort in the knowledge it takes to play the position. Coach (Josh) Heupel has done an unbelievable job on leading him and transforming him into that special arm talent and turning him into a great quarterback and all the things that it takes to go do that. He’s got the ability to make a lot of throws, but it’s also, he’s playing well because he’s a talented kid, but he’s also playing well because our offensive line is giving him time to see the field, scan the field and go through the reads. We have been able to run the football and block well to point of attack and then our receivers are making plays. So, it’s ten other guys around him playing well. They have the ability. When you can run the football for us, that helps in a lot of different ways and Drew has capitalized and really put us in a right situation. The offensive staff has done a nice job on game planning each week and building the offensive of the week to try and give us a chance and put the kids in a position to be successful.”

When you were 1-5, what was the biggest lesson maybe you learned and how did you apply it to maybe staying level headed over these last six as well?

“I knew it was not and it’s still, we have a long ways to go. It’s not going to be easy. I knew the hand that we were dealt. I knew what we had. I knew how close we were to breaking down the walls to winning football. We weren’t that far off even though it sure looked like it at times and seemed like it. We stayed the course. We did make a couple of personnel changes that got guys moved around that helped us out a bit. But, more than anything, credit to our kids to continuing to stay the course, keep their heads down and work together and understand how the slim, fine line of preparing and how that turns over. You can prepare and do everything, your checklist throughout the week, but then once comes game time you better be able to go execute and that was the biggest thing for us is with a little more attention to detail in our practice habits, the things that our kids prepared a little bit better, a little bit more and a little bit smarter, and then our playmaker stood up and made plays and played well together.”

Knowing what you know about the way everything went down, some of the things that were said down here, do you get the sense from the Missouri side of it that fans, administrators, everyone, there’s a little more to this bowl game than just the two teams that are playing?

“I think it’ll be exciting for a lot of different people and the opportunity for us to compete against a team from a conference that we once were in, I think that will show some importance, especially to the fan base and our kids are determined to try to finish the season the right way and I don’t ever make too big of a deal out of the headlines. Let’s focus on us, let’s focus on preparing the right way. Obviously, make our team aware of the situation of an opportunity to play against a really good team and what that will do for us if we go prepare the right way and have the chance to play in a great bowl game.”

How much does it help you in having an assistant coach in Defensive Line Coach Brick Haley who not only recruited a lot of the players that are on this current Texas roster, but also coached a lot of them as well?

“I think, No. 1, Brick Haley is an unbelievable person. He’s done such a great job since he’s been here. I’ve known Brick for a number of years through recruiting. He’s as outgoing and relationship driven with our kids and student athletes as I’ve ever seen. A tremendous hire for us. Our defensive line has played really well over the course of this season and he’s done a great job developing that group. I’m so appreciative and thankful for he and Tina and his family, just the approach that they take every day on the opportunity to be here and work together. We have a great staff and he’s a huge part of that. I’m sure they’ve got coaches on their side that are familiar with a bunch of our players too, so there won’t be much played into that as far as he, from a personal standpoint, I know that anytime you play against somewhere that you once were and play against kids maybe you recruited, that’s difficult and I understand that, I’ve been through that a couple times. So, he’ll do a great job on getting our team ready to go play and I know he’ll have a lot of familiar faces down there that’ll be excited to see him.”

What do you see as Texas’ identity on offense?

“You look at what they’ve done, I know the playmakers that they’ve got and they recruited well, they got them all over the field, just getting into really studying them from the schematic part of it, they’ve got an opportunity on the quarterback runs. Just the game I’m looking at currently, I noticed him being smart with the football, he’s able to get in and out of areas that maybe, could be a negative play and he turns it into something positive. He looks like a great, they look very, very competitive in every area. They look well-coached. We’ll have a tremendous challenge on trying to be able to match up and put together a plan for our kids to be successful.”

Is it too early to say if there’s a team they remind you of that you’ve played this year?

“I wouldn’t want to make a comparison yet. That would be unfair for me to do at this point with the amount of video that I’ve been able to look at at this point today.”

-End-

Press Release

2017 ACADEMY SPORTS + OUTDOORS TEXAS BOWL TO ANNOUNCE TEAMS SUNDAY, DEC. 3

FOR PLANNING PURPOSES
Friday, Dec. 1, 2017 - The matchup for the 12th annual Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be announced Sunday, Dec. 3. Lone Star Sports and Entertainment expects to know the Big 12 team at approximately 2:45 p.m. CT. The SEC team will follow at approximately 4:30 p.m. Conference calls with both head coaches will take place around 5:30 p.m. Following is a tentative timeline for Sunday’s announcement.

WHEN                          WHAT

2:45 p.m.                     Big 12 team for Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl announced

4:30 p.m.                     SEC team for Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl announced

5:30 p.m.                     Teleconference with Big 12 head coach

5:45 p.m.                     Teleconference with SEC head coach

Media members interested in covering the 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl may now apply for credentials through the bowl’s online application system.  Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday, December 20.

To apply for credentials, please visit this link.

The Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl is one of 14 bowl games owned and operated by ESPN Events, a division of ESPN.

The 2017 Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl will be played on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at NRG Stadium and will be televised on ESPN at 8 p.m. CT.

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.

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); Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl (Florida); Camping World Kickoff (Orlando, Fla.); Celebration Bowl (Atlanta); Famous Idaho Potato Bowl (Boise); DXL 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.); The Home Depot College Football Awards Presented by Gildan (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; State Farm Champions Classic (Chicago) and Wooden Legacy (Fullerton, Calif.)

For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages.

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 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

John Harris: Championship Weekend is Upon Us

Championship weekend is upon us and it’s going to be one heck of a weekend. The CFP Final Four came a bit more into focus the past weekend, which then sets the dominoes in motion for bowl appointments, most importantly for all of us in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl (the Bowl).

The Playoff seems clear to me at this point.
The winner of Auburn-Georgia in the SEC Championship game is in the Playoff.
The winner of Miami-Clemson in the ACC Championship game is in the Playoff.
If Wisconsin wins, it’s in the Playoff.
If Oklahoma wins, it’s in the Playoff.

Now…
If Wisconsin loses, the Committee has to compare Alabama’s and Ohio State’s resumes, which isn’t going to be easy.
If Oklahoma and Wisconsin both lose, then Alabama and Ohio State may both be in.
If Oklahoma loses but Wisconsin wins, then Alabama seems to be the next best option to go in with Wisconsin, ACC winner and SEC winner.

In summation on the playoff, here are the possibilities as I see them ACC winner, SEC winner, Wisconsin & Oklahoma ACC winner, SEC winner, Wisconsin & Alabama ACC winner, SEC winner, Ohio State & Oklahoma ACC winner, SEC winner, Ohio State & Alabama

The entire situation is fluid, honestly. What if Wisconsin loses to Ohio State 38-37 in the wildest game of the day? Could the Committee take both Ohio State and Wisconsin? Probably not, but then again, who knows?

Now, how does this all impact the Academy Sports + Outdoor Texas Bowl. Well, on the Big 12 side, if TCU beats Oklahoma, then the Big 12 will more than likely get two teams in New Year’s Day Six Bowls. With two teams in New Year’s Day Six games, it moves every Big 12 team up in the pecking order, so to speak, which takes away an option from the Bowl. But, if Oklahoma wins, TCU may not be able to hold a spot in the top 12-14, which could keep it from getting a New Year’s Day Six bid. For the Bowl, that’s a great thing. For TCU and the Big 12, not so much, I suppose.

On the SEC side, with Alabama at 11-1, the conference is 99.9% guaranteed to get at least two teams in New Year’s Day Six games. A third team getting invited, like in 2014 (Alabama, Mississippi State and Ole Miss), will create a domino effect for the Bowl, moving every team up in the pecking order.

So, even though the picture is clearer at the top, in some respects, the results on Championship weekend have far ranging effects for all bowls, including the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bowl on December 27th.

By: John Harris

Press Release

PRIMESPORT, ESPN Events Renew Partnership To Provide Official Ticket Exchange, VIP Hospitality and Fan Travel For College Football

ATLANTA (Nov. 29, 2017) – PRIMESPORT, an industry leader in providing VIP access to the biggest sporting events in the world, has announced a renewed and expanded partnership with ESPN Events to remain the Official VIP Hospitality and Travel Provider for all of their college football games. PRIMESPORT will also offer fans the chance to buy and sell tickets through an Official Ticket Exchange service for many of the ESPN Events College Football Games.

PRIMESPORT will provide premium VIP ticket packages and fan travel experiences for the Birmingham Bowl, Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl, Cheribundi Tart Cherry Boca Raton Bowl, Celebration Bowl, Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Gildan New Mexico Bowl, Hawaii Bowl, Lockheed Martin Armed Services Bowl, Raycom Media Camellia Bowl, Las Vegas Bowl, Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl, Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, DXL Frisco Bowl and the 2018 Orlando Kickoff and Texas Kickoff game.

ESPN Events is a branch of ESPN charged with creating and organizing sporting events to be broadcast across ESPN networks. Over the years, ESPN Events has created and organized many high-quality bowl games and has become an industry leader in providing fans with great events and elite matchups in many of college football’s marquee bowl games.

As part of the renewed partnership, PRIMESPORT will continue to offer premium ticket packages for all of ESPN Events’ college football games that include college football tickets, plus VIP Experiences like pregame field passes or exclusive pregame party access. Choice Fan Travel Packages will also be available to include hotel accommodations, game tickets, official souvenirs and more. PRIMESPORT will further offer college football fans an officially designated and approved Ticket Exchange marketplace to buy and sell tickets in a convenient, secure and protected environment.

“We are thrilled to renew and extend our partnership with ESPN Events,” said Michael Huber, Senior Vice President for Business Development at PRIMESPORT. “Just as ESPN is one of the most recognizable name in sports, PRIMESPORT’s experiences are some of the most elite in the fan experience industry. Our top priority is to give fans the best experience possible when they enjoy premier events and this partnership ensures that quality.”

For more information on official tickets, travel packages or fan-to-fan ticket exchange to any one of the nearly 20 events, visit PRIMESPORT.com.

About PRIMESPORT: PRIMESPORT is an industry leader in providing direct access to the biggest sporting events in the world, offering tickets, travel, hospitality and VIP experiences on behalf of more than 25 bowl games and nearly two dozen universities. PRIMESPORT additionally partners with over 150 teams, leagues and events, including select NCAA Championships, NHL fixtures, 20 NFL teams, and many more. For more information, visit www.PRIMESPORT.com or call (800)591-9198.

About 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. For more information, visit the official website, Facebook, Twitter or YouTube pages. ESPN Media Contact: Anna Negron at 860-766-2233 or anna.m.negron@espn.com.

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