The Texas Bowl is played every December in Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, the home of the NFL’s Houston Texans. The Texas Bowl matches up a team from the Big 12 Conference and changing bid from the Conference-USA and the Big East conference. This bowl game was first played in 2006 and replaced the Houston Bowl, played from 2000 to 2005. The Houston Bowl was played first as the GalleryFurniture.com bowl at the Astrodome, and was then moved to the new Reliant Stadium as the EV1.Net Houston Bowl. When sponsorship fell through in 2005, the game was discontinued. The NFL network took over management and naming rights to the game in 2005, and the Texas Bowl was born.In 2011, Meineke Car Care Centers took over naming rights to the Texas Bowl, renaming the event to the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. Now that the sponsorship has changed the game has gone back to the Texas Bowl. Check out our Texas Bowl Fan Travel Packages for all inclusive packages to the Texas Bowl. Score with TicketCity - the place to go for Texas Bowl tickets.
2013 Texas Bowl Preview
The Golden Gophers are headed back to their second consecutive appearance in the Texas Bowl while the Orange is in its first back to back season with a bowl bid since 1998. Both teams have struggled to make to bowl games year over year but with two growing programs Minnesota and Syracuse have managed to snag a bid in the final year of the Bowl Championship Series.
While both teams ended up at 4-4 in conference play, the Minnesota Golden Gophers were able to secure their early non-conference games to finish up at 8-4. With Phillip Nelson manning the huddle and David Cobb filling in at running back Minnesota has been able to sustain a versatile offense that can be effective both on the ground and through the air. Though they rely on Cobb as the primary offensive weapon, Nelson has plenty of confidence in his two wide outs Engel & Williams both of whom are averaging 16 and 17 yards per catch respectively. With the Orange defense allowing nearly double the amount of passing yards to rushing yards, this is an attack Minnesota will surely look to deploy in the coming Texas Bowl.
Syracuse follows a similar game plan to that of their opponents in which they rely on Jerome Smith and Prince Tyson Gulley to tote the rock. Where they differ from their counterparts is in how they go about the passing game. More than Minnesota, when the Orange go to the air they are looking for a big play. With passing plays of 41, 42, and 65 yards all going for touchdowns the Gophers secondary will have to avoid biting on the play action and stay deep with the wide outs. Minnesota’s front four on defense will give the Syracuse run game a decent go coming from a very run heavy Big Ten conference and only allowing 154 yards per game. The key for Syracuse is simple, keep Minnesota guessing on defense. By mixing in some screens, draws, and play action the Orange will be able to hold the Gophers from loading the box to stop what they inevitably want to do; run the ball.
With both teams coming in to the 2013 Texas Bowl as artists of the run, the winner at Reliant Stadium on December 27 will likely lead the game in passing yards and big plays from the line of scrimmage. Arguably one of the most evenly matched bowl games of 2013, Syracuse vs. Minnesota should be a nail bitter.
Check out our Texas Bowl Preview History page for previews of previous Texas Bowl games.
Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium Address: 2 Reliant Pkwy, Houston, Texas, 77054
Reliant Stadium holds 71,500 spectators and is the home of the national football league’s Houston Texans. Opened in 2002, it is one of the most state-of-the-art facilities in the country, and the first one in America to have a retractable roof.
Reliant Stadium 100 Level
The most sought after seats will be “Field Level Prime” sections 104-109 behind the home team sideline and sections 124-129 behind the visitor’s sideline. Field level end zone is a great option with a lower cost that gets you close to the action (sections 135-138 and 115-118). The rows work from A through Z and then from AA through JJ.
Reliant Stadium 300 Level
This is still along the sidelines and called the Verizon Wireless Club seating and Mezzanine seating which are really good seats that aren’t as far as they appear on the chart. There is a small layer of suites separating these sections from the field level but you can’t hardly tell. The rows run from A through V with A being the closest to the field.
Reliant Stadium 500 Level
This is the Loge level of seating and consist of sections at midfield. Loge II are further down the sidelines. The Gridiron Loge are sections are along the end zones and are rows A to T.
Reliant Stadium 600 Level
This is upper level seating. This level is divided up into Gridiron Midfield, Gridiron Sideline and Gridiron Endzone sections. Rows here will start with A run through T, with end zone seating starting with A and ending in N.
Reliant Stadium 200 & 400 Level
These are the first and second level of luxury suites
Texas Bowl Event Guide
What are best attractions to see when in Houston for the Texas Bowl?
TEXFEST is a huge pregame party that starts at 2:00pm CST on gameday and is located at the Reliant Stadium in Budweiser Plaza. There is live music, food, family activates and pep rally/spirit walks to help pump up fans.
What are the best restaurants to check out when in Houston for the Texas Bowl?
Houston is a very big city, so it depends where you’re staying, but there are lots of good options. For breakfast, we suggest Baby Barnaby’s in the Fourth Ward area. Breakfast Klub is very popular and good, but the line is over an hour long much of the time on weekends. If you’re downtown, check out the Hearsay Gastro Lounge or Treebeards, which is a Cajun/creole restaurant that gets rave reviews.
Who are some of the best players to have played in the Texas Bowl?
Ray Rice won the bowl’s first ever MVP in 2006 while playing for Rutgers, and then current Benglas QB Andy Dalton won it the year after with TCU. Ryan Tannehill, current Dolphins starting QB, won the award while playing for Texas A&M in 2011.
Which matchups has the Texas Bowl seen over the years?